A dangerous forbidden romance rocks a Texan oil town in 1937, when segregation was a matter of life and death.
A Top Ten Most Challenged Book of the Year
"This is East Texas, and there's lines. Lines you cross, lines you don't cross. That clear?" New London, TX. 1937. Naomi Vargas is Mexican American. Wash Fuller is Black. These teens know the town's divisive racism better than anyone. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.
Naomi and Wash dare to defy the rules, and the New London school explosion serves as a ticking time bomb in the background. Can their love survive both prejudice and tragedy?
Race, romance, and family converge in this riveting novel that transplants Romeo and Juliet to a bitterly segregated Texas town. Includes a fascinating author's note detailing the process of research and writing about voices that have largely been excluded from historical accounts.
A Printz Honor Book
A Booklist 50 Best YA Books of All Time Selection
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book
Winner of the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award
About the Author
Ashley Hope Pérez grew up in Texas and is the author of three award-winning novels for young adults. Out of Darkness received a Printz Honor and the Tomás Rivera Book Award. She is an assistant professor of world literatures at The Ohio State University and lives in Columbus with her two sons.
"[Pérez's] layered tale of color lines, love and struggle in an East Texas oil town is a pit-in-the-stomach family drama that goes down like it should, with pain and fascination, like a mix of sugary medicine and artisanal moonshine."―The New York Times Book Review
★ "A powerful, layered tale of forbidden love in times of unrelenting racism."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Elegant prose and gently escalating action will leave readers gasping for breath at the tragic climax and moving conclusion."―Booklist
"This book presents a range of human nature, from kindness and love to acts of racial and sexual violence. The work resonates with fear, hope, love, and the importance of memory. . . . Set against the backdrop of an actual historical event, Pérez's young adult novel gives voice to many long-omitted facets of U.S. history."—School Library Journal
"The beauty of Perez's prose and her surefooted navigation through the dangerous landscape of the East Texas oil field in the late 1930s redeem the fact that anyone who dares read this agonizing star-crossed love story will end up in about six billion numb and tiny pieces. Absolutely stunning."—Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity and Michael L. Printz Award Honoree