The Ugly Tree

Considering Cane Kallevik’s rocky start, her life has been normal under the watchful eye of Grandma Betty. Freckle-faced, scrawny, and almost sixteen, Cane has ants in her pants. When she’s not running five miles at a crack, she’s riding her bike around the rural farming town of Savage, Illinois and engaging in a secret warfare with her former best friend, Mikayla Atwood. The biggest thorn in her side is Jenny Ryanne Schaeffer, her employer, who Cane has nicknamed Jelly Roll for painfully obvious reasons.

When Justice Price, Jelly Roll’s gorgeous, older nephew rolls into town, Cane is convinced that their age difference is a minor inconvenience. On the first day they meet, she invites him for a nighttime rendezvous. Despite the tornado warnings that evening, she leaves her house, hoping by some miracle that Justice will show up. While she’s waiting, a tornado of epic proportions slides right by her, leveling everything in its path.

Cane’s house is destroyed, and Grandma Betty is in a coma. Out of necessity, Cane moves in with the Schaeffer family and spends the summer falling in love with Justice, keeping vigil at Grandma Betty’s side, fighting with Jelly Roll, walking a fine line between love and hate with Mikayla, and discovering scandalous secrets about Mikayla’s mother, Annette.

Cane endures a summer of waiting, loving, and longing. In a dramatic conclusion her world literally goes up in flames, but instead of losing everything, she finds exactly what she’s looking for in the most unexpected way.