Lula and Rory are basically the “Weird Girl and What’s His Name” of the title. Odd-ball teenagers in the little town of Hawthorne, North Carolina. They are best friends, sharing an interest for fantasy and sci-f, but their deepest and most abiding love is for the TV show The X-Files, being active in the online fan community and writing a joint blog where they analyse and comment on the episodes. Both have been abandoned by parents. Rory lives alone with his alcoholic mother, while Lula is obsessed with her missing mother, who at least left her to be raised by her supportive grandparents. That Lula’s grandfather refuses to ever speak of his absent daughter or even allow her name to be spoken in the house doesn’t dampen Lula’s desire to find out more about her missing parent.
They share everything with each other, or so Lula believes. When she discovers that Rory tried out for the high school football team without telling her, not to mention the much bigger secret that he’s been having an affair with his much older, divorced employer, she starts to question not only their friendship, but her own judgement and identity. Lula suddenly disappears, without a trace, leaving Rory to fend for himself – desperately wondering where his friend has gone, or whether she’s even still alive? When Lula eventually returns, everything is different. Her grandparents no longer trust her and Rory won’t even acknowledge her existence. Can they ever repair their friendship?
Full review on my blog.