Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young-Adult/ Contemporary/ Realistic-Fiction/ Cultural
My Rating: 5 Stars
Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.
Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.
My Thoughts: I guess that I really connected with this book because of my grief. No one knows what it’s like to lose a parent, or in my case both, until it happens to them. It’s been 2 years and I still cry when I’m alone because I don’t like to do so in front of others. Until you feel that pain, you can’t possibly say that you understand it.
Matt is a character that I truly love and respect. Despite his grief, he manages to take care of himself and his dad. He still has moments when he can’t shake the pain of his mother’s death but he deals the best way that he can. Meeting Lovey was the best thing that could happen to him. When you find that person who has been through worse hell than you have, and they seem to be doing just fine, you want to get to that point. Though, making yourself tough to hide the pain is just like walking straight through the doors of depression. It’s a process, you can’t bottle that up and keep it inside. Lovey shows Matt that it’s all smoke and mirrors when dealing with hard stuff in life. You can grieve, but just don’t let it take over your life. She was so good for him and I found their connection beautiful.
This is a wonderfully written book. I think that young adults everywhere should read this book, and just grasp the realness flowing through the pages. It shows you that, no matter what you go through in life, you can rise up and be a great person. Don’t take that dark path into nothingness when there’s more to life than you can possibly imagine. I highly recommend this book!