One of the many downsides of summer is that I don't have as much access to books as I do during the year, especially now that my library is torn apart. If it skews girly, that's because the books in the just returned section of the library are largely girly!
Harmel, Kristen. After.
The cover of this was so pretty that I left it on my quilting table to plan a quilt with those colors, but when I finally started reading it, I ended up finishing it instead of reading the Sunday paper! Lacey's father is killed in a car accident on an ordinary Saturday morning, and Lacey feels responsible. If she hadn't been so slow getting ready, they wouldn't have been in the path of the other car. Lacey's mother throws herself into work in an effort to forget, forgetting even her children's need for dinner on a regular basis. Her older brother, Logan, has a new girlfriend and starts to party heavily. Younger brother Tanner withdraws and becomes increasingly quiet. Lacey, in order to feel more "normal", gets together a group of students who have lost parents so that they can talk if they want, but also hang out and not have to be looked at as "that kid whose parent died". Joining the group is Sam, a new, cute boy who is more interested in Lacey than she seems to be in him. I really liked how realistic this book seemed. Yes, having a parent die is horrible, but the most horrible thing is that the world then expects the child to go back to school and resume their life. The rocky romance with Sam and Lacey is touching and not easy, and even Logan's struggles with alcohol (that end a bit abruptly, in an accident that seems a bit contrived) are understandable. I found myself tearing up several times even though the tone of this book is very upbeat. Definitely will be getting this one for school, and now really want to read this author's When You Wish.