Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
I just received this book in Friday afternoon's mail and was finished by Saturday morning. I just couldn't put it down!
Alix is a 17yo girl who goes to bed one night and wakes up the next morning to find that her world has changed irrevocably. Her girlfriend Swanee unexpectedly died while running. What follows is a twisted tale of sadness and grief, frustration and confusion, lies and betrayal, loss and change, healing and love. At first, Alix is lost in denial, unable to believe that her girlfriend is dead. Then the secrets begin to be revealed and she is torn between grief and anger.
One of the things I loved most about this book was that it was, at it's heart, about all of those emotions that surround loss and betrayal, love and forgiveness. Yes, the main characters were lesbians, but (other than a few rather minor moments) that wasn't the focus of the book. It was just who they were. It was refreshing to read a story that featured lesbian characters without making that the most important thing about the characters. I often feel that sometimes so much attention is paid to that aspect of the characters that it creates a divide. This is a story with themes that are entirely universal.
One of the other things I loved was the growth of Alix's character. At the beginning, she made some questionable choices, both before and after Swanee died. By the end, she has grown considerably. One of her most important lessons was that the grass isn't always greener in other places. She looked at Swanee's life and family through rose-colored glasses, not ever really seeing the truth that lay beneath the surface. This realization led to some self-discovery for Alix, which I really loved.
There was a sweet smaller plot line that made my heart sing, too, the story of Alix and her baby brother. There was so much I couldn't understand about that relationship, seeing Alix as a bit of a brat when it came to him. As the book progresses, we learn so much more about that and suddenly it all becomes clear. I loved the story!
Things to love...
--The fact that sexuality was a part, but not the whole, of the story.
--The emotional journey that comes with grief, especially when combined with anger and betrayal.
--The subplot of Alix and her brother.
I really loved this book! I thought that the story was beautiful and touching, with universal themes that touch us all! I gave it 4.5 mugs!