Author: Heather Davis
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication Date: November 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Holly Mullen's boyfriend died in a tragic car accident, leaving her the sole survivor. But as Holly navigates her life, she doesn't know Rob's ghost is following her, watching over her.
Rob, not being able to cross over, lingers in a world where the only person who can see him is Holly's grandfather who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
As he forges his own unique and intimate relationship with Grandpa Aldo, he watches Holly heal, fail and try again.
I didn't know what to expect from this book. Part ghost story and part realistic fiction, Holly and her family touched my heart. I loved Holly as a character. Her confusion, loyalty and guilt was so real and honest, it made her a very sympathetic character.
As she grows closer to Jason, one of Rob's old friends, her journey through healing is slow coming, with setbacks along the way, but beautiful to experience.
Grandpa Aldo's frustrations and anxiety as his mind and communication skills falter is beautifully written. His mind is clear and whole, his experiences real but only when it comes to talking to Rob. The outside world takes much more time and patience to navigate.
Switching perspectives was confusing at first, but I think overall it paid off. I loved getting inside Holly's head. I liked the third person narration for Jason as the outsider. And Rob's voice was so different and detached, it merged the worlds nicely.
I was swept away in Holly's life almost immediately and read the book in two days! By the end, I was so invested in Holly, Aldo, Rob and Jason I didn't want the book to end. Make no mistake- It is a hard book to read. The main characters are dealing with death, depression and Alzheimer's disease. But Davis navigates the waters so well, I became submerged in their lives, really caring for these characters and the paths they chose and the consequences they faced.
There may have been tears.
Rating: 9 Ridiculously Awesome, like Cookies and Ice Cream