They Both Die at the End meets The Butterfly Effect in this YA novel by Joan F. Smith, where a teen uses her gift of foreknowledge to help a lifeguard save a drowning man—only to discover that her actions have suddenly put his life at risk.
It was supposed to be an ordinary day at the pool, but when lifeguard Nick hesitates during a save, seventeen-year-old December uses her gift of foreknowledge to rescue the drowning man instead. The action comes at a cost. Not only will Nick and December fall in love, but also, she envisions that his own life is now at risk. The other problem? They’re basically strangers.
December embarks on a mission to save Nick’s life, and to experience what it feels like to fall in love—something she’d formerly known she’d never do. Nick, battling the shame of screwing up the rescue when he’s heralded as a community hero, resolves to make up for his inaction by doing December a major solid and searching for her mother, who went missing nine years ago.
As they grow closer, December’s gift starts playing tricks, and Nick’s family gets closer to an ugly truth about him. They both must learn what it really means to be a hero before time runs out.
Joan F. Smith is the author of The Other Side of Infinity and The Half-Orphan’s Handbook, a dance instructor, and a former associate dean of creative writing. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Joan lives and writes in Massachusetts, where she was the 2021 Writer-in-Residence at the Milton Public Library. When she’s not writing, she’s either wrangling her kids, embarking on a new hobby she will quickly abandon, or listening to podcasts on a run.
Laura Taylor Namey is the New York Times and international bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club pick A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, The Library of Lost Things, When We Were Them, and two forthcoming titles. A proud Cuban-American, she can be found hunting for vintage treasures and wishing she was in London or Paris. This former teacher writes young adult novels featuring quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from the University of San Diego and is the winner of the Peggy Miller Award for excellence in young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.
Allison L. Bitz hails from Lincoln, NE, where she lives with her spouse, two kids, and various rescue pets. When she’s not writing a novel or a song, Dr. Bitz is helping clients in her private counseling practice, planning some form of political action, or trying to track down a pastry to enjoy with her coffee. If you can’t find her at a party, check the floor—she’s probably hanging with the dogs. The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom is her debut novel.
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