This year, Essie Green’s life is going to be different. She’s made the cheerleading squad and caught the eye of the captain of the football team. However, she didn't expect her estranged cousin to join the football team. Micah is instantly branded a freak for praying during games, and Essie doesn’t want anything to do with him. As the football team’s teasing of Micah shifts into hazing, Essie is forced to make a choice between the boy she might love and the cousin she barely knows.
“A very satisfactory read.” –VOYA
“Compelling characters, dramatic tension, and thoughtful exploration of how teenagers create their own identity amid familial and cultural influences should give this story wide appeal.” –Publishers Weekly
“Her [Jenny Meyerhoff] writing style is easy and appealing, and kids who come for the romance will get some heft as well.” –Booklist
“Meyerhoff captures the melodrama of adolescence (Essie on Austin: "It would be easier to stop breathing than to stop liking him") with ease, and readers will readily recognize Essie's desire to fit in. They'll understand the courage it takes for her to tell the truth, knowing she risks ruining her social position and a relationship with a guy she really likes. Growing up isn't easy for Essie, but she does learn more about her roots and becomes closer to her extended family.” –Horn Book
"As befits the heroine of a book loosely and skillfully based on the Book of Esther, Essie is believably naïve but exhibits a core of strength and menschlichkeit that would make any Jewish grandmother proud." -Kirkus Reviews