Davis, Tanita S. A la carte.

Author:Hinton, KaaVonia
Position:Brief article - Book review

DAVIS, Tanita S. A la carte. Random House, Knopf. 288p. 978-0-3758-4815-5. $15.99. J S

High school senior Lainey Seifert is a loner by choice. All she needs in the world is her work at her mother's restaurant, her recipe notebook, and her fantasy cooking show, or so she thinks. Simeon Keller has been a close friend for years; now Lainey wants to get closer, but Simeon backs away, only spending time with her when he needs something. When Lainey helps Simeon run away from home, she tells lie after lie to protect him. Rejection, avoidance, and regret finally help Lainey see that she and Simeon will never be a couple: "I'm not a girl who's meant to be a side dish. I won't stand around and wait for some boy while he chooses me. I can choose me too."

The tone of the book is sad and lonely, reflecting Lainey's life. Her frustration with herself for loving Simeon, and with Simeon for being disinterested in her, is convincingly drawn. There is little...

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