Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vande Velde's Remembering Raquel

This is not the sort of book I expected from this author, who usually does magic/fantasy/scary stories, but it is an interesting story indeed. Raquel is dead, killed by a car when she walks into the road without looking. Was it an accident, or suicide? This sounds like it might be the start of a mystery, but it isn't. Since any death of a young person sends a community into turmoil, this question arises because not many people liked Raquel, but now everyone is claiming some connection with her.

Told from different points of view, this was sort of a disturbing book. Raquel never came across as a particularly likable character to me, although I did feel sorry for her best friend and her father. The reviews of this all indicate that connections are made, and although the ending is ambiguous, people learn things about themselves-- how they treat others, the importance of respecting people who are different, etc. Again, I was left with this sad feeling that Raquel's was a very unfortunate accident (the DNR form that caused the EMT to "let her slip away" probably belonged to her mother, who had died recently), and that in a year's time, all the schoolmates who were upset wouldn't even remember her.

This was a very well-written and insightful book which would be popular with students wanting sad books or problem novels. Has a great cover. I guess I don't want to buy it because it makes me so sad, but perhaps that is the very reason that I should.

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