I wish you could tell me where you are now. I mean, I know you’re dead, but I think there must be something in a human being that can’t just disappear. It’s dark out. You’re out there. Somewhere, somewhere. I’d like to let you in. – Laurel, p. 10
Losing a family member, especially one that you are close to, can be the worst feeling in the world. Imagine losing your best friend, your sister, and watching her die. This is exactly what happens with the main character Laurel, and the death of her sister May rocks her entire world. She ends up transferring schools, trying to make herself into a different person where nobody will ever know about her sister and the fact that May is dead.
Throughout the book, we see if this plan of Laurel’s actually works, through her own words. Since it all started as an English assignment – write a letter to a dead person – Laurel ends up using this assignment as a grieving mechanism, even if she doesn’t realize it yet. Her choices of dead people to write to seem to revolve around her memories of May. The more the letters come, however, Laurel eventually makes her own memories and opinions about the people she writes to that don’t always involve her sister.
Laurel does end up going through some character growth in the book, and while it does seem to take a while to happen, it eventually happens. Unfortunately, she is also a difficult character to fully relate to, and there were more times than one where I would get extremely frustrated with her thoughts and actions. Maybe it was because she was just being a teenager that was experimenting, or going through a rebellious stage, or maybe something else entirely. It just bothered me, because it seemed like she was doing it to herself, or letting herself be the victim of such actions.
It is important for those who do read this book to understand that you should never allow yourself to be victimized, and if something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable or violated, you need to talk to an authority figure and someone who can help you make those actions stop. Out of the entire book, this is the message that I feel needed to be stressed the most, and it was only mentioned at the very end.
Rated: 4/5 Stars