384p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Oct. 2014. Tr. $17.99. ISBN 9781442456990.
Gr 9 Up—Eighteen-year-old Kinsey Cole knows people can only bear so much bad fortune. That's why everyone knows Kinsey's best friend Camille died in a car accident when Kinsey was driving. It's also why Kinsey hasn't cried since the accident and is trying to avoid Camille's boyfriend, Hunter. Even without her friend, the protagonist is still struggling to stick to her plan to go to college and get away from the small town of Wellspring, Michigan, and her mentally unstable mother once and for all. The only problem is that Kinsey is quietly falling apart. When Hunter invites her on a road trip to San Francisco, she jumps at the chance to get away from all the memories and start her real life. But with Hunter's heavy drinking and Kinsey's own demons, it will take more than a fresh start for either of them to accept everything that has been lost. Nightmares that may or may not be Camille haunting the heroine add a surreal element to this contemporary story as Kinsey and Hunter travel across a largely barren landscape on their way to California. An unflinching focus on the duo makes the story even stronger. Reed offers a well-plotted and excellently written meditation on grief, loss, and the power of new beginnings in this striking novel about two wretched characters trying to make themselves whole.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
Kinsey's best friend, Camille, died in a car crash in which Kinsey was the driver. Numb and traumatized, Kinsey accompanies Hunter, Camille's boyfriend, on a cross-country road trip--a journey fraught with intense emotional pain. The use of Camille's "ghost" to torture Kinsey isn't especially effective; otherwise, this is a well-written examination of how devastating grief and guilt can be.

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