This book is already critically acclaimed, coming from an Edgar-award winning author and already lauded as a Globe and Mail Best Books of 2016 pick, a Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016 award, and a School Library Journal Best of 2016.
The book follows Alex, a girl who is struggling to be a normal teenager after the murder of her older sister. Slowly but surely, she rebuilds a life by continuing to be her genuine self and gathering loving friends to help heal her wounded soul. Even so, she’s done unforgivable things while dealing with grief that she must keep hidden throughout the novel.
What attracted me to Alex was her penchant to protect other girls. I absolutely adored having a strong, three dimensional female character who was unapologetically protective and thoughtful about the girls in her life. Even after getting a boyfriend, she never abandons her girl squad, which I think is a huge positive, because it portrays a healthy relationship that’s nicely balanced with friends and school. The story was also thoughtfully written in a rotating first person format, so every chapter gave more insight into a different character. We have strong and smart Alex, athlete and scholar Jack, and spontaneous yet reserved Claire, who just wants to break from her title as the Preacher’s Kid. It’s easy to fall in love with all of them.