What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?
Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.
Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.
Cristina Moracho completed her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College. The first chapter of Althea and Oliver was selected by Jim Shepard to receive the 2008 Lainoff Award. She was awarded a 2012 Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship.
Jorjeana Marie has narrated numerous audiobooks, starred in the TV movie Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling, and performed as a stand-up comic, opening for Richard Lewis, Louie Anderson, and Kathleen Madigan. Her voice can be heard in such video games as Final Fantasy, Crackdown 2, and Star Guardians.