Guest review by Anne:
This book takes an interesting approach to a very tough subject – the death of a parent. The author does a fantastic job of creating characters that have depth and grow beautifully throughout the story. The story uses the emotional growth of the characters as the main theme, thus making the actual events storyline sometimes a backdrop to the characters actions. The author uses the lives of four teenagers to bring about the growth and understanding in her main character.
Each of Ashley’s friends are written into the storyline very well, they each bring closure to a different aspect of grieving. There is the wild boy that makes it all just go away, Colt. The heavy friend who continues to remind her of the good characteristic of her father brought to this world and not just the illness that took his life. The high maintenance best friend that tries to support the only way she knows how, through social status. Finally, the boy who is exactly the believing, safe, and church going type that she no longer wants from life, Jordan.
This book is very well written. The story line flows beautifully and connects a lot of emotional and personal growth which is not always easy to accomplish. At first, I was afraid that this many characters would be hard to follow and there would be too much going on, however the author did an amazing job. The main character Ashley was always the focus of each chapter, allowing the reader into her thoughts and communicating exactly how she was feeling. This was a crucial for the author to convey exactly where, why, and what Ashley need to escape from each time the story took a turn.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a friend that has lost a parent. Being inside Ashley’s head and hearing her thoughts will help your understanding the emotions that go with anyone who is trying to work their way out of the darkness of grief and loss.