Hacks gets a romantic twist in the vein of Jenn Bennett in this “simmering” (Publishers Weekly) novel about a standoffish teen girl whose loner status gets challenged by a dynamic elderly woman and a perpetually cheerful boy.
Eloise Deane is the worst and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s grumpy, prefers to be alone, and is just slogging through senior year with one goal: get accepted to USC and move to California. So when her guidance counselor drops the bombshell that to score a scholarship she’ll desperately need, her applications require volunteer hours, Eloise is up for the challenge. Until she’s paired with LifeCare, a volunteer agency that offers social support to lonely seniors through phone calls and visits. Basically, it’s a total nightmare for Eloise’s anxiety.
Eloise realizes she’s made a huge mistake—especially when she’s paired with Austin, the fellow volunteer who’s the sunshine to her cloudy day. But as Eloise and Austin work together to keep Marianne Landis—the mysterious former frontwoman of the 1970s band the Laundromats—company, something strange happens. Eloise actually…likes Marianne and Austin? She isn’t sure what to do with that, especially when her feelings toward Austin begin to blur into more-than-friends territory.
And when ex-girlfriends, long-buried wounds, and insecurities reappear, Eloise will have a choice to make: go all in with Marianne and Austin or get out before she gets hurt.
Amelia Diane Coombs is the author of Keep My Heart in San Francisco; Between You, Me, and the Honeybees; Exactly Where You Need to Be; and All Alone with You. She’s a northern California transplant living in Seattle, Washington, with her spouse and their Siberian cat. When she isn’t writing or reading, Amelia spends her time playing video and tabletop games, road-tripping, and hiking the Pacific Northwest.
"A delightfully compelling coming-of-age romance."
— Kirkus Reviews