Even though she has six siblings, sixteen-year-old Novah still knows what it's like to feel lonely. Her friends never remember to invite her anywhere because they assume Novah will be too busy overseeing dinner, baths, and homework -- tasks that fall to her when her parents are at work. She wouldn't mind it so much if her "perfect" older sister, Ariana, wasn’t always excused from helping out. She's the star of the volleyball team, and their parents don't want anything to jeopardize the scholarships she'll need to become the first member of their family to attend college.
Needless to say, Novah feels like she's been given a raw deal, especially when she's forced to cancel a maybe-date with her crush, Hailee.
Then one terrible night, their parents don't make it back home. A car accident takes their lives and leaves seven heartbroken kids on their own. The Wilkinson siblings have no grandparents, no aunts or uncles. Since Ariana has just turned eighteen, she manages to convince the judge to give her temporary custody. If she can keep her family running smoothly, they'll get to stay in their home. If not, they'll be placed into foster care.
Novah will do whatever it takes to keep her family together but finds herself in a constant power struggle when Ariana refuses to take her advice, even once it becomes clear that they are all in way over their heads. Will Novah find her voice and summon the strength to do the impossible? Or will she be forced to say the hardest goodbyes of all?
Brianna Peppins is the author of young adult contemporary books, including Briarcliff Prep and As Long as We're Together. She was raised in Prince George's County, Maryland, and graduated from Spelman College with a BA in psychology. When not writing, Brianna takes special interest in spending time with her loved ones and social justice issues, and is a self-proclaimed movie aficionado. Visit her online at briannapeppins.com, on Twitter at @Lexi_pep, and on Instagram at @Lexi_pep.
Praise for As Long As We're Together:
* "Peppins crafts a compassionate and complex rendering of a family contending with grief amid myriad interpersonal conflicts that overflows with narrative tension and urgency." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An uplifting story about the power of family." -- Kirkus Reviews