The End or Something Like That

Ann Dee Ellis. Dial, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3739-6
“When your best friend dies, things happen. You lie under your bed. You plan spiritual visitations. You watch a lot of TV. You eat turkey burgers.” Writing in clipped, emotionally deadened prose that carries the weight of grief, Ellis (Everything Is Fine) catalogues 15-year-old Emmy’s struggle with her friend’s sudden death. Alternating chapters take readers between the present, with the one-year anniversary of Kim’s death approaching, and flashbacks to the preceding months. Following Kim’s collapse in the cafeteria, Emmy is mired in her pain, but when she starts seeing and interacting with her newly deceased earth science teacher, Emmy dares to hope a “visitation” from Kim might be possible. A consult with Ted Farnsworth, a dubious medium whose seminar Emmy and Kim had attended, builds confidence in the likelihood of it happening. The Las Vegas setting powerfully contrasts the absurdity of life against the separation of death, and several truly uncomfortable scenes involving Emmy’s classmates lays bare just how ill-equipped many people are to handle death. A hard-hitting story about remembering the dead while not forgetting the living. Ages 12–up. Agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-14-242263-2
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