In Marlena by Julie Buntin, Cat becomes captivated by her magnetic, yet tragically vulnerable next door neighbor, Marlena. After her Dad leaves them, Cat and the rest of the family move to Silver Lake, a small Northern Michigan community, where they hope to start over.
Cat is soon spending every minute with her new neighbor and friend, Marlena. Older and more sophisticated, Marlena takes Cat down a typical wormhole of drugs and alcohol.
An older wiser Cat narrates the story while flashbacks tell the story of her fifteenth summer. This dual perspective novel shows how complicated friendships can have lasting repercussions.