Tom Ryan, April 2012. It’s the summer of 1994 and Danny’s got problems: his dad works in distant oil fields and comes home only to nag him about college; he’s not sure what he wants to do after high school; and, most importantly, he’s gay and trying to hide it from his two best friends. But everything changes when he gets a summer job at a restaurant. Danny falls for a girl, of all people – a fun, zany girl from New York who makes mix tapes and seems way too cool for Danny’s small town. He doesn’t hook up with Lisa, but the restaurant job becomes life-changing nevertheless: he decides he’d like to be a chef, and with the support of his new friends, he’s able to come out of the closet.
This is a typical coming-out, coming-of-age story, but it’s told sweetly, and readers will root for Danny. Recommended especially for fans of Sarah Dessen.