Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 412 Pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse 1/5/10
This third young adult book told in verse follows Lisa's other best selling verse novels, I Heart You You Haunt Me and Far From You. Set in the same high school as I Heart You... Brooklyn is dealing with the grief of losing her boyfriend in a terrible car crash that happened a year ago on New Year's Day. She's still trying to come to terms with his death and visits the cemetery and writes him letters on a daily basis. Brooklyn's world is thrown into chaos when she finds out that the boy who was in the car with Lucca during the accident has committed suicide.
Nico is also dealing with the loss of his brother. His parents give him a hard time about his goals in life and he feels like they would have been happier had Nico died and not Lucca. Now that Gabe has died, Lucca comes to Nico to talk him into helping Brooklyn.
Told in alternating point of views, you get to see exactly how affected the two main characters are by death and even more so by grief. Nico doesn't understand why Lucca wants him to help Brooklyn. Brooklyn doesn't know why she can't dream about Lucca but is haunted by Gabe.
Lisa shines when she strips the story down. Telling these stories in verse give you the sense of hopelessness when grief is consuming you. When Brooklyn is approached by Ava (who's boyfriend Jackson died as well), you know that she will have a lifelong friend and someone who has dealt with all this. You don't need glittery prose to get to the heart of the story.
Between trying to heal each other, feelings and mutual admiration becomes apparent, but the two fight it because Nico is Lucca's brother and Brooklyn was Lucca's girlfriend.
I could gush about this. But I just loved this story. Lisa can really get to the heart of the matter and that is how do we survive after we lost someone who we loved with all of our heart. How is that fair? Grief can tear us apart or we can grow from it. Teens who deal with grief are at a greater risk of being swallowed up and forgotten. Lisa writes the words and the magic that she brings to them and from them is superbly unforgettable. Plus, I just love the shout out to Ava and Jackson from IHeart You...