"That's the way I felt, like something had eaten parts of me, the best parts. There would be no journal entry when I got back to the house this time. Like Grandma said, I just didn't have the words." Shayla feels that she's been replaced now that her father's new wife has given birth to a baby -- born on Shayla's own birthday. As upset as she is, though, she can't confide in her best friend, Kambia Elaine, because she doesn't want to diminish Kambia's happiness at finally being part of a loving family. Yet Kambia's life is not without difficulties of its own: Someone has been sending her evil messages and packages that threaten her well-being. Neither can Shayla confide in her new friend, Lemm, because she discovers that he has his own troubles -- although she can't imagine the tragedies from his past that he's still keeping secret. As she did in "When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune," Lori Aurelia Williams (whom "Publishers Weekly" has called "a writer to watch") has written an emotionally charged novel of unconditional love, told sensitively in luminous prose.