June’s dad fixes things for companies in trouble, but once he’s done, he moves on to the next job. That’s why June has spent so much of her life moving from place to place and learning not to let friends get too close. Her dad’s mantra is to never look back, but she can’t help wishing for a place to settle down and stay for a while.
Minnesota would never be her first pick for that place, until she meets Wes. Wes has recently broken up with his girlfriend, and he doesn’t really want to get involved with someone new. He’s enjoying being his own person again, and not having to worry about how his girlfriend judged what he did. But he keeps running into June, and he can’t stop thinking about her.
The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman tells the story of June and Wes as they go through the ups and downs of a high school relationship. It’s full of issues that kids who date in high school have to deal with, such as how do I relate to my friends once I start dating someone, and how do I interact with my girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s parents. Hautman is good at turning even mundane questions, like will a car be available for a date, into something that’s revealing about Wes and June’s relationship.
It shows the two teens as both thoughtful and impulsive, concerned about what their parents think, but also willing to break the rules to be together. It should provide lots of topics to discuss for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up. I recommend it.