by Dustin Thao ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 2, 2021
Technology prevails over death, giving a teenage couple a second chance at goodbye.
High school senior Julie is paralyzed with grief over her boyfriend Sam’s death in a car accident. She avoids his funeral and throws away every reminder of him. They had planned to leave their small Pacific Northwest town together, and she now faces an uncertain and empty future. But one night she impulsively dials his cell, and, inexplicably, Sam answers. This is the first of many long conversations they have, neither understanding how or why this is happening but relishing the chance to say goodbye as they could not in life. However, Julie faces a difficult choice: whether or not to alleviate the pain of Sam’s loved ones by allowing them to talk to him, though it could put their own connection at risk. Yet, letting go and moving on might be just what she needs. The emotional tenor of the book is even throughout, making the characters feel remote at times and flattening the impact of momentous events—such as Julie and Sam’s first conversation—that are often buried in minor, day-in-the-life details. The time skips can also be difficult to follow. But the concept is a smart one and is sure to intrigue readers, especially those grappling with separation, loss, and mortality. Sam is cued as Japanese American; Julie defaults to White.
A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers. (Fiction. 13-18)
Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021
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