A Year to the Day

HarperTeen. Jun. 2022. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062854438.
Gr 9 Up–A beautiful story of a sister grieving and learning to move on. The year before, Leo’s sister Nina died in a car accident, the details of which she can’t remember. Nina’s boyfriend, East, was there that night, and he remembers what took place, bearing the memory of it all. Leo asks East to tell her what happened, but he won’t say anything, believing he’s protecting her. Leo faces many challenges throughout the first year after Nina’s death without her to lean on. The story opens with Nina’s memorial service and is told through a backwards time line, ending with the night of the accident. Benway skillfully connects the chapters despite the reverse chronology. Each chapter title lets readers know the date and how long it has been since the accident, making the events easy to follow. While it is clear to readers that the time line will end with the accident and Nina’s death, there are still surprises throughout. Most characters are cued as white.
VERDICT This story will stay with readers long after they have finished the book; a first purchase for libraries.

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