by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo
At the onset of her sophomore year, Angie is a wreck. Her sister, a U.S. soldier, has recently died and become a local hero. Her beloved girlfriend, KC, has moved across the country. Her best friend, Jake, is suddenly ghosting her. To top it off, the resident high school bully has launched a newly targeted and vicious campaign to humiliate her at every turn.
An upcoming statue dedication for her older sister, who died overseas in Iraq, is nearly too much to handle. Angie’s mother has even taken it upon herself to set a symbolically empty urn on their mantel, forcing Angie to walk by every day on her way to school. At the ceremony itself, a soldier gives Angie the last letter from her sister. The letter is a list of places she wanted them to visit together when she finally came home.
With Angie’s mother threatening to send her to a “treatment center” and the bully threatening to turn violent, Angie calls upon her childhood friend, Jamboree. Picking up a few other outsiders along the way, they squeeze into a dubiously sourced RV and drive across Ohio on a road trip Angie’s sister dreamed of but did not survive to take. The trip is exactly what Angie needs to process the death of her sister, and find herself in the process.