At fifteen years old, Humphrey has spent his life as the new kid, moving from town to town as his parents keep losing jobs. The latest move brings him to Haven, Florida, where his family rents a motel room for lack of money. Humphrey gradually makes his way into a circle of the local cool kids, but when his friendship with one handsome boy and the boy's mother leads to illicit and confusing sexual attractions, he begins to question the nature of his own desires, with perilous consequences.
Humphrey's half-sister Gretchen escaped the family's itinerant lifestyle long ago, and is now graduating from Harvard College and pining for a Harvard boy who broke her heart. When fate offers Gretchen a chance to go abroad, both brother and sister find themselves with the opportunity to leave their problems behind and travel to Italy. But the siblings' Roman holiday takes a sinister turn when what was supposed to be a glamorous jaunt has fateful consequences.
The New Kid is an account of love, family, sexual awakening, and the peculiarly dangerous twists life can take -- a deftly written novel from the acclaimed author of Glamorous Disasters.
"In crisp, clever and incisive scenes, Schrefer shows that belonging can bring just as much heartbreak as being alone."
"Schrefer deftly braids together two tales of self-invention, one part suspense and one part coming-of-age. Humphrey's struggles with incipient desire are rendered with squeamish precision, and the steady enclosure of Gretchen by half-truths and self-betrayals will be familiar to any of us who have ever had to grow up."
"A new Talented Mr. Ripley... Schrefer weds fluid prose to a trashy/sexy plot in his fun second novel…the combination of smart writing and a decadent world make for a genuine guilty pleasure."