Dying to Go Viral

252p. Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-55455-271-9.
Gr 7–9—Jade is thrilled when her older brother, Devon, gives her a skateboard for her 14th birthday. Usually she doesn't go in for extreme tricks, but today his friend is filming clips to upload to YouTube, and Aiden convinces her that a video of her holding on to a moving car will go viral. The car's speed and Jade's skateboard catching in a grate conspire to make the ride the last one that she ever takes. As she leaves the world, she is conscious of being in an ethereal courtyard with her dead mother. Mom lets Jade have a glimpse of the funeral, where her dad and Devon each blame themselves for her death. Jade convinces her mother to let her relive her last week, and the woman reluctantly agrees. On Jade's list of things to accomplish: finding a girlfriend for her dad, convincing him to back off from forcing Devon to attend a university, spending more time together as a family, and kissing hunky Aiden. The narrative is largely taken up with the hurdles Jade faces during this relived week. Along the way, she discovers that Aiden really isn't worth drooling over and that she is actually in love with skateboarding buddy Scratch. The family dynamics are much healthier by that fateful day. This time, though, her accident comes about from saving a young boy who has also been caught up in Aiden's charm, and she dies a hero. The exchanges between Jade and her mother can be a little saccharine and stilted, but overall, readers will enjoy seeing how Jade grows during the week she is more outwardly focused.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

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