Leesie is a beautiful, straight-laced Mormon desperate to escape high school and the boys who torment her there. Michael is a scuba diver whose parents were killed on a dive trip. He desperately longs to dive again, but terrifying flashbacks of the hurricane that killed his friends and family plague him. Leesie is drawn to Michael's brokenness—she feels she can save him. He is attracted to her purity and beauty. Soon, all the rules Leesie has found easy to obey in the past (no hot-and-heavy kissing, no dating an unbeliever, no sex) are no longer cut-and-dry, and her plan to attend BYU no longer seems so important. Both Michael and Leesie must figure out what matters most to them. This book explores the teens' relationship through poetry, instant messages, and journal entries. Although the format is clever, the author doesn't fully commit to sharing this story in the characters' own words. Leesie's poetry is full of emotion and does a great job of expressing her feelings, but Michael's journal entries are unconvincing as the writings of a grief-stricken teen. Also, he is selfish and disrespectful of Leesie's beliefs, and she is too willing to forgive him when he has sex with a classmate. Their relationship is uncomfortably codependent, and when the teens split up at the end, it is a relief.
Contest is International and it ends on March 9th.