Lucas by Kevin Brooks
Caitlin is spending the summer on the windswept island that is her home. She is caught between girlhood and maturity, and feels utterly isolated from the rest of the world. Then she meets Lucas, who is the embodiment of freedom and honesty. She is instantly drawn to him. But Caitlin must also grapple with the darker forces that seem to be confronting her family. Lucas himself further complicates matters when he is hunted for an awful crime that Caitlin herself becomes involved in.
Do you remember how horribly complicated everything was when you were fifteen? Cait is right there in the thick of facing adult decisions while still a child. Her brother, Dom, is back from a year away at college, and does she even know who he is any more? Her father continues to lose himself in the alcohol that has coated his pain and guilt since Cait's mother died in a car accident that he survived ten years' earlier. Her best friend, Bill (a girl), is running around with the guys Dom's age--and doing everything they do. Jamie Tait, whom her dad calls "the biggest little shit on the island" and who has Dom in his sway, wants Cait, and not in a pleasant way.
On top of all that drama, add Lucas, a young drifter who becomes Cait's only true friend and first love. Lucas will do whatever is necessary to protect Cait from Jamie Tait and his crowd, and, too soon, Cait learns first-hand about the grief her father has felt for years.
Although likely sexist on my part, I was amazed at how well Brooks wrote this story from the perspective of a fifteen-year-old girl. He did an excellent job at describing her confusion and budding sexuality.
I just picked up Brooks' Candy yesterday, and I'll be interested to see if he's as adept at covering heroin addiction.
My overall personal rating of Lucas by Kevin Brooks is a B+.