Author: Cynthia Hand
Info: Harper Teen, 2015, 386 pages
There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.
The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.
Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.
I feel like I've been picking out books for peculiar reasons this year. This one was another attempt to figure out whose voice I hear the most in My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton. No. I do not have a problem. How dare you judge me.
Lex is a math genius, a high school senior who has worked very hard to get into MIT. She's a sister, a daughter, and a girlfriend. She has friends she loves and a bright future in front of her. And her brother is dead. The future that was so bright seems lonely and unsure. Everything changed in one moment, with one text. Everything. And it haunts Lex. He haunts Lex.
I had absolutely no expectations with this book. To be honest, it's one I would normally shy away from - the loss of a sibling plot line overwhelms our shelves at the library, and it's not really one of my favorite types of stories. But without anything waiting in my audiobook queue, and my little experiment still on my mind, I thought I'd give it a chance.
And I loved this book. It was thoughtful, sincere, and genuine in its depiction of loss and regret. There was no aptly timed romance to pull Lex out of her depression, no overly preachy therapist bashing ideas into her head. There is a girl who is sad And there wasn't someone telling her she shouldn't be. Lex was a fully developed character, and through her you get a full picture of Tyler. Her healing takes time and patience, but it pays off with a gradual understanding and appreciation for a life, both her own and her brother's.
In case you're wondering, Hand's voice was very familiar. References to pop culture (including The Princess Bride) and a dry wit reminded me a lot of My Lady Jane. I'll definitely be checking out her other series. But first I need to give Jodi Meadows a shot.
I didn't dissolve in a pool of tears with this one, but I did appreciate Lex's journey and her tenacity.