Grosso, Alissa. Shallow Pond. flux, 2013.
The Bunting sisters have lived in Shallow Pond, Pennsylvania all their lives and people constantly mistake one sister for another. The oldest sister, Annie, has raised the two younger girls ever since their mom and dad passed away. The youngest sister, Barbara, nicknamed “Babie”, is a senior in high school and wants nothing more than to graduate and leave Shallow Pond forever. Babie’s best friends are always trying to pair her up with guys at school, and when a new, handsome orphaned guy named Zack Faraday arrives at school, Jenelle and Shawna decide he would be the perfect date for Babie for the town’s winter carnival.
Although Babie feels an instant connection with Zack, she has no desire to have a relationship that might cause her to want to stay in Shallow Pond. She doesn’t want to end up like Annie, now twenty-six, who was dumped by her boyfriend, Cameron Schaeffer, when she was a high school senior, or like her other sister, Gracie, now twenty-one, who works as a cashier in the town’s only grocery store.
Cameron Schaeffer has recently returned to Shallow Pond after losing his job, and Gracie has fallen in love with him. Babie is not happy with Gracie over this development because she was hoping that Cameron and Annie would reunite. When Cameron leaves town unexpectedly, Gracie hurries to find him.
Annie has been sick, and when she begins to get even worse, her sisters rush her to a hospital where she is treated by one of their father’s friends. It turns out that she has a mysterious genetic illness and could soon die. This revelation releases a series of events that take the book in a totally different direction!
Told in first person by Babie, this novel started out very slowly and repetitious. The same scenes kept reoccurring—Babie hates Shallow Pond, and her friends love it. Babie doesn’t want a boyfriend, but she is drawn to Zack. Babie talks to Zack and then runs away from him. Finally, about midway through the book, the plot began to branch out.
Science fiction fans and readers who love a good romance will enjoy Shallow Pond. I recommend it for high school and public libraries. I give it four out of five fleur de lis!