By Courtney Summers
December 21, 2010
St. Martin's Griffin, 224 pages
From the author of Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are comes a gripping story about one girl’s search for clues into the mysterious death of her father.
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
— Amazon.com description
This book is hauntingly sad—so much so that it initially put me off. You can feel Eddie's grief and desperation for answers about her father's suicide on every page.
That sadness is beautifully written, and it got me hooked once I was in the mood to embrace it. It's a real tell-it-as-it-is look at the grief process.
"Forget sappy messages about overcoming; I want ones that say NOW YOU'LL BE A LESSER PERSON THAN YOU WERE or WE CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND or I CAN UNDERSTAND BECAUSE SOMEONE I KNOW DIED TOO or maybe something about how grief can make your skin feel sore and bruised and electric because that's how my skin has felt ever since."
The twisted treasure hunt Eddie sets off on keeps the novel moving quickly, and it's nicely reminiscent of the pleasingly morbid (if that's possible?) 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher or 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.
Eddie's interactions and text messages with Milo throughout were a real treat, and the title...wow. Once you get to the end of the book, you will see that it was the perfect pick.
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing me with a review copy of this book.