Author: Jay Clark
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: March 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Abram and Juliette have been neighbors all their lives. Now they’re connected in a strange and twisted way. Juliette’s mom was having an affair with Abram’s dad. Their affair, and subsequent deaths from a car crash together, drive Abram and Juliette to become friends months later. And realize that maybe the other is exactly what they need.
There’s so much great stuff in this book. The writing is poignant and funny, sad and heartwarming. I loved Abram’s point of view, contrasting that to Juliette’s. There’s so much these two teenagers have to sort through because of the circumstances, yet they do it in real and beautiful ways. Friendship starts first which blossoms into possibly something more. This is a really great story about two teens leaning on each other to make themselves better people, to forgive and come to terms with tragedy and move on.
Narration switches between Abram and Juliette yet it never felt jarring. Their voices are different from each other, their insecurities easily identifiable, their vulnerability out for the reader to sympathize. The story flows easily and it was simply a book I really enjoyed picking up and reading. I liked their journey, both individually and together. That said, there’s no huge drama/blowout/car chase in this book. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, but I think some people assume that a love story has to have some lingering dark element or jealousy or rage. There’s plenty of layers to the character and plot. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t follow the standard troubled teen arc.
This is a well written book that I adored. The writing was so refreshing and well done, the characters whole and real and a genuine journey.
Can’t recommend enough.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy