Generally when I read a book, I don’t have any emotional reaction to it because it lacks depth and serious content. This was not one of those books. I would not recommend this to someone strolling along to breeze through a casual read or someone who I didn’t feel was mature enough to handle the content. Just as a forewarning, this book contains a lot of mature content with some very disturbing scenes.
Warnings aside, this book was very intriguing with a unique structure. Each chapter was a different source to tell a part of the story, be it a newspaper, report, homework assignment, or a conversation. With the variety of sources, all the characters fleshed out and seemed more real. Though it was fiction, Draper did a marvelous job creating a real atmosphere with situations that are very applicable to the mindsets of teens.
Draper begins with the tragedy that causes the story. Andy, the main character, returning from a basketball game after a few drinks, gets in an accident and his best friend dies. As the plot progresses, we are introduced to his close group and how each person deals with their grief. The variety of routes to acceptance are wide and help to show how different people deal with pain.
I’ve learned a lot about depression, death, pain, relationships, consequences of actions, and the stages of grief. If you have the maturity, and want to learn about how fragile life is and the importance of thinking before you act, READ THIS BOOK! I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this book because at times it was disturbing and weighty, but I do appreciate how my perspective has changed.
Book review by Ethan Carter