*An ARC of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.*
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Look to the left, look to the right. We’re all going to die. But someone has to do it first. So who’s it going to be?
Tragedy struck Amanda Tart’s town a year and a half ago when a sophomore girl was killed in a car accident on graduation night.
Amanda’s brother, Jonathan, was behind the wheel and too drunk to drive. He’s spent the past year in prison and has cut off all ties. But now Jonathan is coming home. Just as Amanda’s trying to figure out what that means for her family and herself, she’s paired up for a school project with Henry Crane—a former crush, and brother of Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the crash with horrible injuries.
Everyone is still incredibly damaged by the events of that night. Can Amanda and Henry finally begin to heal what’s broken and find some peace?
This started out really fresh, albeit slightly depressing: A teenage boy drives drunk, crashing his car and killing a friend who was in the car with him. This book deals with the aftermath of that incident. More specifically, it deals with how the teenage boy’s sister, Amanda, had to deal with the fallout when he went to jail.
One thing I loved about this novel was that it was so realistic. Everything that happened felt like it could have actually happened to real people. It was messy and chaotic and sad but still hopeful. It wasn’t fairy-tale perfect and I love Alexis Bass a little bit for it.
Another thing I loved was the way the love story happened. There was a love triangle, which I usually abhor, but this time the loser of the love triangle existed for a reason other than to create tension. He was there to show Amanda’s struggles and growth. The love triangle had a purpose! And it was so realistic! I can absolutely picture a girl dating a guy so she would have a social buffer and an excuse to hide. It wasn’t pretty but it was so accurate. The winner of the love triangle… he was a little too perfect. I mean, of course I liked him! He was perfect! But most of the things he did… idk. Something didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it was the all-encompassing passion or the way he treated his girlfriend (not Amanda). I can’t pin it. Maybe it’s because I felt like I was supposed to like him. That was his point. I am supposed to like him as much as Amanda does so he’s perfect. I guess I just don’t like people telling me what to do. I’m a rebel like that.
The sibling relationship with Jonathan and Amanda was another thing that felt so realistic it hurt. Seriously, it was rough. But beautiful. Strained but honest. Loving but not exactly understanding. Just like siblings. Perfection.
Jonathan’s progression was heartbreakingly fascinating to watch. I kept hoping he would turn things around, pull himself together, get his life back. The end is just a tiny bit tragic but so very realistic. It’s probably what happens to most people in that situation. You know it’s going to happen, aren’t surprised when it does but keep hoping it will change anyway.
Issues in this book were not glossed-over. Things were gritty and messy and people got cracked and broken and there were problems everywhere. But it was just like life. So real. There are just a few issues of teenage sex and drinking that I don’t agree with. I know that’s also realistic but I wish pop culture wouldn’t glorify it the way it does.
Sexual Content: Moderate