Early Departures

Justin A. Reynolds. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-062-74840-9
Though they were once the closest of friends, it’s been awhile since teens Jamal and Quincy have spoken—following his parents’ accidental death two years ago, Jamal cut ties without explaining why. After the two have a fight at a beach party one evening, Quincy drowns while trying to save another. Carrying the guilt of the argument and the friends’ past, Jamal accompanies Quincy’s mother to a facility that can bring him back temporarily from the dead. Seeing this as a chance to make amends and revive the friendship, Jamal wrestles with the pain of his parents’ death and seeks to get Quincy to forgive him before his reanimation ends. In this gratifying contemporary novel, Reynolds (Opposite of Always) tenderly explores the complexities of decision-making while grieving, the limited life spans of close relationships, and the painful unpredictability of death. Jamal and Quincy’s casually comedic dynamic adds a lifeline of hope to an otherwise heartbreaking narrative that reminds readers to make the most of the time they are given. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 10/22/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-274842-3
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