Gold medal winner (tie), Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) in juvenile/young adult category
“Brezenoff’s enviable prose captures distinct, compelling characters as they struggle through the often heartbreaking work of becoming adults. Readers will identify with Lily, Noah, and Simon as they try to reconcile their longing for connection with their need to break free.”
—Sara Zarr, National Book Award Nominee and author of Once Was Lost.
“Young Adult Book of the Year”
The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: |-1| = 1
Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent’s illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.
In his luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew.