PAGES: 352

TRIM SIZE: 5.5 X 8.25

ISBN: 978-1-61620-675-8

LIST PRICE: $18.95



ISBN: 978-1-61620-706-9

LIST PRICE: $18.95


From a two-time National Book Award finalist comes a riveting romantic drama about the gilded lives of the super-rich and the high price of fitting in.

“This is a glittery gem of a book. I was utterly transported to Fire Island–to endless summer days, girls in sundresses, that rush you get the first time you fall hard in love. I fell so hard in love with this book.” —Jenny Han, New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

It’s the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.

Through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, Adele Griffin captures the angst of feeling like you don’t belong and the urgency of first love with masterly prose and a sharp wit perfect for fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.

A Summer 2017 Kids’ Indie Next Pick!
One of Boston Globe’s 13 Young Adult Must-Reads for This Summer


"This book beautifully captures that one summer of first love—the excitement, the heartbreak, the way the world will never again look the same. I devoured it in one heady, swoony sitting."
- Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything

"Perfectly captures the blinding brightness of summer love and the encroaching darkness of two girls competing for the same boy. I couldn’t put this delicious book down."
- Siobhan Vivian, New York Times bestselling author of The List

"An atmospheric and engaging piece of historical fiction, this work will haunt and resonate with readers long after it ends."
- School Library Journal, starred review

Read an Excerpt

Gil’s eyes were warm on me. “It’s cool how you’re so serious about everything. You’re a funny princess.”

   “No, no! I’m not,” I answered sincerely.

   He laughed. “Especially when you don’t mean to be funny.”

   But I’d meant that I wasn’t a princess.

   Our burgers arrived, distracting us as we squirted ketchup and loaded the buns with lettuce, onions, and pickles. Led Zeppelin was on the jukebox. “What sort of music do you go for?”

Now Gil leaned in on his elbows. I’d struck a nerve. “Clapton, Tom Waits, Lynyrd Skynyrd. But I dig most any rock-and-roll—me and my pal Kenny took a bus twenty-three hours to see The Who in Fort Worth.”

“I’ve been to Madison Square Garden twice this year. Once for David Bowie and once for Elton John.” This wasn’t true—it was my sister, Daphne, who’d gone. But I’d heard enough about both concerts. In the moment, staring at Gil, I wanted it to be true so badly that the truth itself seemed like a tiny detail.

“Elton John? That guy’s a dud.” Gil began to sing “Bennie and the Jets” through his adenoids.

   My cheeks got hot. Daphne never did dud things! Or did she? What would Daphne say in this moment? “Well, I saw Elton’s whole act, and it’s a complete hoot!”

Gil shrugged. “Piano’s good if Waits is playing it. I’m more into guitars myself.” He molded his hand around an invisible neck, and with the other hand, he strummed air. “I used to mess around in a band—we called ourselves The Mindbenders. But that was B.C.—Before Uncle Carp. Now I’m at the law firm day and night. He’s got me in his  focus—which I do appreciate,” added Gil quickly. “Hope I wasn’t coming off ungrateful.”

“Have Carpie and your family mended fences?”

 Gil paused, as if deciding how to frame this. “Matter of fact, one of the deals of my being here is, I can’t contact my family.”

“Why not?”

He smiled, guarded. Sipped his beer and shrugged in answer.

“But that’s family politics for you,” I said. “Anyway. I’m glad you told me. I’m always here to listen if, you know—” I floundered “—you want to tell me more.”

Now Gil eyed me in a way that burned up my cheeks. “I want to know more about you.”

“Oh, okay. Me. Um. Like what?”

“Like . . . what do you love?”

“Love! Oh my gosh! Don’t put me on the spot!” I hid behind my beer mug—only a few sips remained. I wouldn’t order another. Even one drink made me too careless with my words. “I love tennis,” I told him after a pause.

“Where I’m from, that game’s for snobs.”

“I never feel snobby when I play. I feel happy. Unless it’s . . .” against her. “Unless it’s too competitive.”

“Have you got a shelf full of trophies?”

“Not exactly.”

“Aw, you’re stewing about something.” Gil’s voice was gentle. He tipped his head, watching me. “Cat got your tongue? Tell me.”

“No. There’s nothing to tell.”

“Come on. Put it out there.”

Fritz O’Neill. She was something real. She was something to put out there. But I wouldn’t even speak her name out loud. Not tonight.

Fritz O’Neill, who last summer had entered the Junior Cup Tennis competition at the eleventh hour. Then she’d casually annihilated me. My loss had shocked the family. My mother’s and Daphne’s names were both etched into plaques that hung in Haven Casino’s center hall.

But not mine.

“I’m training super hard for a tennis rematch that I lost last summer. I’ve been practicing after school and every weekend.”

“Bet you’ll do fine.”

“There are other good players.”

“Like who?”

“I guess I can’t remember her name.”

“Arrright, arrright.” Gil popped his last huge bite of burger in his mouth. He ate too quickly, but his appetite also made him sexy, like a wolf.

When “Young Americans” came on, I clapped for it. “I love this song!”

“I’ll get out there if you want.”

Toward the far end of the room near the jukebox, kids were bouncing and shimmying and trying to look like they weren’t working too hard on their moves.


Gil slapped a ten on the table to pay. “Let’s go.”

When I stood with him, he took my arm and led, turning me in and out easily, and then pulling me close. When he held me to his chest, I felt myself melt against the press of his body. Were Dalton girls watching? Was Jack Hollander? Would people talk about how smooth we looked out here? I felt expansive with all the possibilities

And when the song ended and Gil stared down at me, for once my uptilt felt entirely natural. I’d never felt so radiant as I did in his gaze.

Gil leaned in close to my ear. “Hollander’s. Bowie. You. At least I got one New York night exactly right.”

We danced to a few more songs, then we left the bar, sailing into the warm, almost-summer night. We had enough time to walk uptown and still beat my curfew. Three hours ago, I hadn’t even known he existed, and now here was Gil Burke, blazing bright as a comet through the center of my world. I was giddy with it, almost frantic with wanting to absorb and memorize every detail of each, shared moment.

 “Kinda funny, remembering about earlier,” Gil said, as if he’d been listening in on my thoughts. “When Uncle Carp first mentioned his goddaughter?” He took my hand and slid his fingers through mine. “For some reason, I pictured a little girl with braces and a hula hoop.”

I sighed. “Carpie thinks I’m still a child.”

“You’re anything but.” He said it sweetly. Not like a come-on. His fingers were woven strong through mine. Gil had seemed sure right from go that I was special—a fun-loving New York girl with connections to “It” bars. And now a brand-new thought overtook me.

First Gil had rescued me from my fight with Daphne. Then he’d sprung me out of the apartment and whirled me into this perfect evening. What if Gil had come here all the way from Elmore, Alabama, to Sunken Haven for me

Could it be true? Instead of a summer playing handmaiden to Daphne, was I being delivered something entirely different—a summer in the spotlight? A summer starring Gil Burke and me? The idea, as it steeped, filled me with tense, panicky joy—it sounded too good to be true, like something a West Village psychic would promise for fifty cents.

Summer flings and sexy romances were Daphne’s territory. Not mine. I was the one you didn’t pick.

I swatted off my hope like a bumblebee, knowing it was too late. I’d already been deliriously stung.

Meet the Author

Photo Credit: Charles Aydlett


Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers, most recently The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. Adele lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, New York.