In a story about sorrow, regret, and love, Bass (Love and Other Theories) traces high-school senior Amanda’s struggles during the aftermath of tragedy. On the night Amanda’s older brother, Jonathan, graduated from high school, he was responsible for a drunk-driving accident that left a friend dead and his girlfriend, Sutton, nearly paralyzed. While Jonathan spent a year in jail, Amanda brooded that she should have done more to prevent him from getting behind the wheel. After Jonathan is released, community members complain that his sentence was too light, and Amanda feels guiltier than ever. Told from Amanda’s point of view, this novel offers a frank, thought-provoking account of one teen’s response to an unbearable, irrevocable situation. The relationship between Amanda and Sutton’s brother (whom she has been avoiding) unexpectedly deepens into romance, making her emotions all the more complicated. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s reconnection with Sutton may be more detrimental than therapeutic. Rather than placing judgments, Bass focuses on her characters’ emotional scars and strained relationships as they quietly grieve lost life and innocence. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/21/2015 Release date: 12/01/2015 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.