Love in a time of grief!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 👨🏻👱🏻♀🧔🏻👩🏻👱🏼
The heroine: Mackenzie – The summer before their senior year, the family moved for her fathers job and her twin sister Willow committed suicide and Mackenzie and her family are trying to deal with their grief. Mackenzie is seeing her sister everywhere and is trying to find herself again when she seems to be doing more things her sister would do. She seems to be taking on more Willow’s qualities, so she is trying to find her way in the changed world.
The Hero(es): Ryan – Hot popular basketball player. He is the son of a man who works with Mackenzie’s Dad and will be a senior at her school. He lost his best friend a few years ago so he sort of knows what Mackenzie’s going through.
The Story: Mackenzie and her younger brother Robbie stay at the home of her father’s work friend after finding her sister dead and she has trouble sleeping and wanders out of Ryan’s sisters room and into his. She finds she can get to sleep with Ryan and comes to rely on him in her time of need.
Since Ryan went through a similar loss, he understands what Mackenzie is going through and is sympathetic. Ryan is attracted to her as well, and they start dating and sneaking into each other’s beds at night. Mack’s family falls apart around her and she spirals as she continue’s to see her sister.
The story is a very good example of teenage loss and grief. It makes it harder for Mackenzie because she feels that her family won’t look at her since she has the same face as the one they lost. The story shows how different people deal with grief and how not talking about things can make things snowball. The things Mackenzie does (sneaking out, drinking, partying, etc)… are normal ways teenagers deal with everything.
Also there is a side story about popularity and the popular kids in school it all ties in nicely since at their former school Willow was the popular one while Mackenzie was the one the more sedate twin. Now that Mack is dating Ryan, she is in the popular crowd which adds to her turmoil.
The book was told in Mackenzie’s POV and regarding the narration, I really like this female narrator, Thérèse Plummer for YA and NA books. She has a good voice for a young female with brains, and she also does the Young male voice well. I like the distinction between the two. She is very easy to listen to and has good inflections and doesn’t sound like she is reading word for word. It sounds more like an acting performance.
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