It took a whole box of tissues and lots of breaks to finish this book, but I couldn't stop reading.
Aubrey's grief and her reactions to the tragedy that has destroyed her family are wrenching and realistic. Although she slowly heals throughout the book, ending on a note of hope, I still found myself crying at the end. The story is, perfectly, tightly focused on Aubrey's own pain and recovery and as she begins to live again in the world around her, we learn more about her new friends through Aubrey's eyes - I'd be interested in maybe seeing companion novels about Aubrey's new friends.
I can see parents not wanting their kids to read this because of the high emotional content (no, I am not being silly. you would not believe the vast variety of elements parents can object to in the books their kids read. Not the tv they watch, just the books they read) but I'd say this was an important read - not just for those who have experienced tragedy, but for kids who've never known what it's like to have a loved one die. This beautifully-written novel will draw them in and allow them to empathize and understand others who are experiencing grief.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
ISBN: 0385737742; Published June 2009 by Wendy Lamb; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library