ISBN 978-1-4847-6821-1 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 9-12
Next door neighbors Hannah and Emory were friends for over a decade, despite significant differences in their core beliefs (Hannah’s a Christian with a pastor father, Emory’s a non-believer). Now, however, the girls aren’t speaking after a fight that split them apart. Other than that, things are going well for Emory—she’s in love with her boyfriend, Luke, and she has been accepted to UCLA’s theater program. Hannah, on the other hand, is questioning her faith in both God and her father, who poured her college funds into his dream of a Christian school. When Luke dies in his car in front of Hannah’s house and is revived three minutes later, he turns to Hannah and her father to share his experience, and things get complicated when his story becomes an opportunity for both exploitation and healing. Stone picks carefully through all the emotional threads of faith, denial, and betrayal that weave and fray throughout this complicated situation. Hannah’s questioning of her faith and Luke’s tentative discovery of his are handled with authentic sensitivity, while Emory acts as a foil, and something more, for both of them. She is at once a [End Page 448] catalyst, a doubter, and a friend in need, selfless on the one hand and self-protective on the other as she tries to hold on to the things that bring her joy and to ignore the bad stuff. In the end, all three teens are exemplary in their willingness to help and stand by each other through the hard work of recovery after trauma no matter what the cost.