One on One
A small-town school in western Maine, milltown Greenspark has a single claim to fame: its high school basketball team. A hero on the court, senior Sam Styles has led Greenspark Academy to three consecutive state championships. He has become an off-court mover-and-shaker as well, and he sends a shockwave through the school's social hierarchy when he decides that capping his own high school career with a fourth victory will not be enough: he wants the girls' team to win one, too. Standing between the girls and that state trophy is the person who is also their best hope of gaining it, a sophomore known as the Mutant, a/k/a Deanie Gauthier. She is attitude incarnate, a quicksilver playmaker on the court and a defiant pariah off it, as disliked as Sam is popular. If the girls are going to go all the way, Sam realizes, he will have to straighten her out. Saving Deanie from herself is no easy task, however. Behind the wild, tough girl, Sam discovers an unexpected soul mate, and he isn't prepared for the volatile, disturbing relationship that ignites between them and cuts radically across the grain of Greenspark's traditions. He wants her to take her team to the championships; she wants to take him where he's never been before. They both get more than they bargain for - Deanie must surrender the secrets shielded by her Mutant facade, and Sam must take on their burden. It is an exchange that will transform both their lives. One on One is a remarkably engaging story of sexual initiation and awakening into love, of how growing up breaks and remakes family, of an adolescent culture that makes its own rules and enforces them its own way. It is the story of a season full of pain and triumph, injury and healing, when the lives of two vividly realized human beings fatefully entwine. Tabitha King has written a vigorously honest, richly textured novel that brilliantly evokes those exhilarating, unsettling growing-up years.