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A Black teenage girl has something to prove in And Other Mistakes, a debut Young Adult coming-of-age novel by Erika Turner about first loves, broken friendships, family tension, and what it means to run toward your future instead of running from your past.
Aaliyah's home life has never been great, but she thought she'd survive her last years of high school with at least her friendships and cross-country stardom intact. That is, until junior year struck: she got outed by a church elder and everything came undone — including Aaliyah.
Now, senior year is about to start and she is determined to come back faster and wiser. No more letting other people define her. No more losing herself to their expectations.
Except... well, with new friends, old flames, nosy school counselors, and teammates who don't trust her yet, the route already feels rough. And what's with the new girl, Tessa, who gives Aaliyah butterflies every time she looks at her? Regardless, everything is fine. She'll be fine. Because this is the year to prove to everyone—and most of all, herself—that she's more than her mistakes. After all, even Aaliyah can't outrun everything.
"...standout novel... By employing impeccable emotional tension that superbly renders themes of abuse, friendship, and identity, Turner delivers a genuine and honest read." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Turner’s characters are the life of this novel, each feeling real even when they have minor roles... [Aaliyah's] story is an ode to the messiness of young queer teenagedom on par with Malinda Lo’s A Scatter of Light. ... The intentional discrepancy between Aaliyah’s interpretation of her mistakes and the reader’s view of them is impeccable, making her an incredibly sympathetic character with realistic flaws. Give this book to the teen who needs to be told that imperfection is okay." —BCCB, starred review
"Turner weaves together multiple aspects of dysfunction present in family, friend, and romantic relationships, and while there is no perfect ending, readers are left with hope. An emotional read with the clear and important message that your mistakes don’t define you." —Kirkus
“AND OTHER MISTAKES is a heartfelt slice-of-life story that beautifully captures the nuances of familial acceptance, sapphic first loves, and daily survival. Through Aaliyah’s imperfect navigation of her complicated life, Erika Turner earnestly shows readers that mistakes are a part of the journey, not the end of one.” —Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All