Becoming Chloe was published in hardcover in the Spring of 2006, and as a trade paperback in the Fall of 2008, both from Knopf. Technically it’s YA (young adult literature). But, you know, not so much. I mean, not exclusively. It’s for teens as young as 13 or 14 (it’s surprisingly mature) but it can, and usually does, just as easily appeal to adults.
In my own words:
This is a story about a couple of throwaway street teens. If you don’t know the difference between a runaway and a throwaway, runaways have parents who want them back. Nobody wants Jordy and Chloe back.
They meet in a cellar in Manhattan, where they both happen to be illegally squatting at the same time. Jordy, who nearly died when his father found out he’s gay, is recovering (barely) from a near-fatal head wound. Chloe, who fell through the cracks of the child protective system, has just been assaulted. And not for the first time, either. So Jordy takes her under his wing. At first she seems childlike—almost to the point of being developmentally disabled. But it’s more about the trauma. And now that she’s with Jordy—now that she feels safer—that shell of protection is beginning to fall away.
In a desperate last attempt to save her, Jordy takes Chloe on a trip all the way across the United States—in an old pickup truck, hitchhiking, on bicycles, on a Greyhound bus. The idea is to prove to her that the world is a beautiful place. Even though Jordy isn’t entirely sure he believes that himself.
What the Reviewers had to say:
Kirkus Reviews said, "Tender, amazingly hopeful."
Publishers Weekly called it, "Vibrant and heartbreaking," and, "Deeply affecting."
The Deseret News said it had, "Heart, wit, adorable characters and a lot to say about the meaning of life."