Owen and Natalie are different from the average teenagers. Both are very intelligent in their own ways. Owen dreams of being a scientist. Natalie is a very talented musician. Neither wants to be normal or a part of the crowd. Owen just wants to be left alone. In an effort to make him fit in, his father buys him a car. Owen resents it until the day he notices that Natalie is different from the other girls. This is the touching story of friendship and love between two outsiders.
I picked this up because it was written by Ursula K. Le Guin. Everything I have read by her was either science fiction or fantasy. I liked her collection The Wind's Twelve Quarters and her novel Rocannon's World. When I grabbed this off the shelf at a used book store, I did not realize it was a contemporary young adult novel. It turned out to be an excellent story that would hit home with a lot of science fiction and fantasy readers. Many sf and f readers know what it feels like to be an outsider. Le Guin shows that it is okay to be different. Not everyone needs to fit in. Sometimes a person is happier when left to themselves. But it is nice to have someone you can relate too.
If you are looking for science fiction or fantasy, avoid this book. If you are looking for a novel that will remind you of the television show, The Wonder Years, this is the book for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5