Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers
2009; Knopf; 978-0-375-84446-1 (hardcover)
Summary: Every summer, Luke's family spends two weeks at their lake cottage. Over the course of four summers, from thirteen to sixteen, Luke hunts for luckystones, talks to neighbors, and discovers the appeal of girls in bikinis. So many things change from year to year. The only thing that doesn't is the lake itself. And that's just how Luke likes it.
In a character study of a novel, we see a boy begin to grow into a man. Every summer, Luke gets wrapped up in neighborhood discussions and small squabbles, causing small ripples in his life. But at the end of the two weeks he leaves, knowing that he'll be back next summer and the lack will be there. Brent Runyon perfectly captures the teenager's contradictory desires: for constancy and for change. Portraying a typical boy's development, Surface Tension would be appreciated by serious-minded readers who liked Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie or Be More Chill.