Resurrection Girls

Albert Whitman. Oct. 2019. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807569429.
Gr 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Olivia Foster and her family have not moved on since her little brother Robby’s death three years ago. Her mother numbs herself with pills, her dad is mysteriously absent, and Olivia lives in a fog believing her brother’s death was her fault. Then the Hallas women move across the street. Sybil, the grandmother who is blind but sees everything; Rhea, the vibrant and full of life mother; and Kara, the daughter who lives exclusively in the moment. When Olivia and Kara become friends, Olivia begins to emerge from the world of death she lives in and re-enter the world of the living. As Kara introduces Olivia to her obsession of writing to inmates on death row, they become the Resurrection Girls: pen pals to murderers and serial killers. Magical realism and heartbreak collide in this tale of grief and rebirth. Olivia goes through the stages of grief as she works toward re-entering the world that is moving on without her. Kara helps Olivia work through her grief as well as re-introduce her to her childhood friend and current crush, Prescott. Different types of love are shown throughout the story as Olivia begins to experience feelings beyond friendship for Kara while still harboring her crush on Prescott. The Hallas family is mysterious and magical and readers are left to interpret exactly what their family secrets may be. While told through Olivia’s perspective, all the characters are well written and fully fleshed out.
VERDICT A thoughtful novel about overcoming grief perfect for readers who enjoy emotional stories.

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