Grab your tissues and settle in for this well-written gut-wrenching story about a young woman who suffers a massive head injury, causing her to lose all memory of her girlfriend, her queerness, their one-of-a-kind love and their plan to escape their small racist homophobic suffocating town. With family and friends manipulating her memory loss for their own gain how will she find her way back to herself? A stunning solo debut by Alyson Derrick. I really did cry.— Zinna
2023 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Longlist
Perfect for fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Five Feet Apart, this tender solo debut by the coauthor of New York Times bestseller She Gets the Girl is a “punch to the gut in the best way” (Booklist, starred review) about the strength of love and the power of choosing each other, against odds and obstacles, again and again.
What would you do if you forgot the love of your life ever even existed?
Stevie and Nora had a love. A secret, epic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. They also had a plan: to leave their small, ultra-conservative town and families behind after graduation and move to California, where they could finally stop hiding that love.
But then Stevie has a terrible fall. And when she comes to, she can remember nothing of the last two years—not California, not coming to terms with her sexuality, not even Nora. Suddenly, Stevie finds herself in a life she doesn’t quite understand, one where she’s estranged from her parents, drifting away from her friends, lying about the hours she works, and headed towards a future that isn’t at all what her fifteen-year-old self would have envisioned.
And Nora finds herself…forgotten. Can the two beat the odds a second time and find their way back together when “together” itself is just a lost memory?
About the Author
Alyson Derrick was born and raised in Greenville, Pennsylvania, a town where burn barrels take the place of recycling bins. After making her great escape to Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s in English writing, Alyson started her own food truck, but soon realized she much prefers telling stories over slinging cheesesteaks. She is the coauthor of New York Times bestseller She Gets the Girl and author of Forget Me Not. Alyson currently resides in Pennsylvania with her wife and their dog, Hank.
"A well-paced, well-built, heartbreaking, and heartwarming story about trusting instincts, finding the right people, and figuring it all out. Readers will root for this couple against all odds."
— School Library Journal
"This high-concept solo debut by Derrick (She Gets the Girl) is part simmering romance, part affecting character study...a textured telling that eschews clichéd interpretations of the belief that love conquers all."
— Publishers Weekly
* "Derrick’s solo debut is a punch to the gut in the best way, filled with incredibly real, layered characters whose choices throughout the story feel earned. The gentle, compassionate writing puts readers right alongside Stevie as she figures out who she was and wants to be, and it’s impossible not to root for her and Nora.,,,A perfect read for anyone who loves a hauntingly sad LGBTQ+ story but wishes to have their heart treated with care."
— ALA Booklist, starred review
"Derrick tells Stevie’s story with finesse, the beats well paced and building powerfully. Small-town Pennsylvania is vividly portrayed, the complex emotions Stevie feels for her hometown becoming viscerally relatable. Heart-rending and heartwarming."
— Kirkus Reviews