The Walker is an 18 year old boy who lives alone and spends his days walking through the town and his nights stocking shelves at a store. He refuses to get in a car, but can diagnose skidmarks on the road. He is a loner, keeps his personal information to himself and likes to stay in the background until he meets Sandpiper.
The Walker renames her Piper, because Sandpiper is too weird and Sandy is too normal. He and Piper begin a friendship and help each other overcome their pasts and look forward to the future.
At times I wanted to strangle Piper, but that was the point. She didn't start out as a very sympathetic character, but as the book went on she matured and realized that her actions affected more people than just herself. Wittlinger's novel is about a controversial topic--oral sex--but she doesn't sensationalize it. The act itself is never described or depicted, but it is referred to numerous times. Piper uses the familiar slang to describe it. Although Piper doesn't think that oral sex is real sex, Wittlinger makes clear that it is and that even though pregnancy is not a threat, there are consequences for her actions.
I liked the relationship between the Walker and Piper. I liked Piper's parents. They were absent enough to let Piper deal with the consequences, but in the end they were there to help her pick up the pieces.
This is an important book and should be mandatory reading for all girls who think that just because they don't have intercourse they are still virgins and can have oral sex as often and with whomever they want. Definitely high school reading, although middle school girls are engaging in this behavior as well, and may benefit from reading this.
Reading: The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke--Suze Orman
On My Nightstand: Jailbait, Keys to the Kingdom series