Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?
Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself.
Words fail me to describe how much I’m touched by the story and especially by London’s words. I could barely hold my tears back when I was reading it in public. It’s funny, because based on the blurb and some reviews I thought it would be a three-star book, maybe four if I will be in a good mood. But it became one of my favorites.
The Story (Spoiler Degrees: 3)
Zach died. And it’s a huge lost. It’s not easy to survive when you lose someone you love. You feel as if you can’t live anymore without them; you’re just straggling in pain, and you can’t think of anything else than this question: Why? And then: Who is responsible?
It’s a very heartbreaking period for the loved ones as you can see it well in this book. Everybody’s pointing at each other, but actually they are all responsible for Zach’s suicide. He is the only one I can’t blame despite the fact he caused a lot of pain to the people who loved him. He felt he hadn’t had another choice; his life was a mess, his heart was broken, and he couldn’t find another way out of his situation. I just feel sorry for him.
London – the main character of the novel – had a happy life but suddenly everything crushed on her. She lost her beloved brother, also her mother in a different way, and her every connection to other people. In the bigger part of the story she doesn’t tell what happened exactly that day, but it’s well known that a lot of people blame her for Zach’s death, including her own mother. Maybe her father too. And her ex-best friend, Lauren. And really everybody. They simply avoid her. Except Taylor, her ex-boyfriend, and the new kids in town.
And when at last she tells exactly what happened you can’t stop swearing and crying at the same time, and hate the world, the way the things were going, and the people who couldn’t take Zach’s depression seriously.
Characters (Spoiler Degrees: 2)
London is the storyteller, who is trying to keep herself in one piece, and just to outlive the lonely days. She can only feel herself alive when she’s kissing with someone. This person can be Taylor, or even Jesse; it actually doesn’t matter. She just wants to feel and to be loved. (I don’t like this cheating thing, but I can understand London’s reasons. At least I’m trying.)
Taylor knew Zach long ago, he was his best friend, so he is well aware of London’s loss. He’s also battling his own pain. But maybe he is too much like Zach, and London always think about her brother when Taylor is near.
And there’s Jesse, the new guy, who is attracted to London since the first time when he laid eyes on her. But maybe it’s not enough just to know what kind of pain she feels. He should feel it with her together.
Lili is Jesse’s sister. She helps a lot to London. She’s always chatting about something, she doesn’t let London to get lost in her thoughts and she’s truly the best kind of girlfriend who London can ever get.
It wasn’t my first book from the author, and I bet it isn’t the last one either. She has an incredible talent to stir up people’s feelings, to hold your attention from the first word to the last one, to squeeze your soul and to shatter your heart. But then she helps you move on the road to recovery.
The novel is written in a very simple style; there isn’t any frippery, just the facts and the people and the feelings. Therefore, it’s a really heart-stirring story. And I like that she wrote it like a long-long poem. Initially it was strange but now I love it.
Although the end of the book is beautiful, I’m in deep sorrow and feel empty. No wonder, since Zach is gone.
Music recommendation: Evanescence – My immortal
It’s so beautiful the way it is. I like the two models; their posture is so expressive. The characters of the book just want to be hugged, because a really honest hug can swipe away all of your pain.