Title: The Summer That Saved Me
Age Category: YA
Genre: Historical (1970s)
Word Count: 66,000
Rock n roll is seventeen-year-old Cass Walker’s escape from a harsh life on the wrong side of the tracks. When she listens to her favorites – Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, The Doors – she’s free from the ghosts that whisper threats in her ear and the scars that mark her body like a map.
But even music can’t help her flee from the reality of a lifestyle where drugs are exchanged like candy and casual sex is the norm. Or her musician boyfriend that beats the crap out of her. Things go from bad to worse when she’s sexually assaulted by her high-as-a-kite mom’s loser boyfriend. So when her grandmother offers her the guest cabin at the lake for the summer, she jumps at the chance. A summer of music and healing is exactly what she needs to help mend her body and spirit.
As she’s moving in, she meets Brent, who is everything she isn’t – clean cut, All American, straight as an arrow, and rich. As their relationship deepens, she pushes him away. He may not hit her, but she’s no one’s ghetto project. She tries to forget him, but he won’t let her, showing her respect she refuses to acknowledge. And after a huge fight with the abusive jerk she can’t completely give up leaves her so black and blue she can hardly walk, she has to decide whether Brent’s the only one who can truly help the scars fade forever.