This is the latest from Kristina Riggle called The Whole Golden World: A Novel. It follows the story of 17-year old Morgan who considers herself an old soul. She is studious, serious and responsible. Part of this stems from growing up as the big sister to twin brothers who were born prematurely and endured many health issues, so Morgan is forced to take care of herself early on. Her father is also the assistant principal of her school which can create a ton of stress for a teenage girl. Some young girls would crumble under all the pressure, but not Morgan. She knows she is different…different from her peers and her brothers. She is looking to assert her independence and “grow up”. Unfortunately, Mr. Hill, her calculus teacher, is more than willing to help her with this. The two of them start a friendship which turns into more than they could have imagined. It ends with a “confrontation” in a parked car where the police discover the two of them. Mr. Hill is arrested and Morgan is now shunned by the students and labeled a “slut”. Both her parents careers are on the line and through it all Morgan supports Mr. Hill.
The book reminded me of an after school special (and I am aware that this expression dates me….I am quite comfortable with that. But if you are unsure what the term “after school special” means….google it.) Now I loved after school specials, I loved that I never knew when they would be on or what they would be about, and yet every day after school, I would race into the house and turn the knob on the TV and wait to see if there would be one on. I loved to get lost in the lives of these angst-ridden teenagers who made poor decisions…drinking and driving, doing LSD, teen pregnancy, etc. It was drama and it wasn’t mine, so I allowed myself to get sucked into it. The same goes for this book.