Loud Awake and Lost

304p. Knopf. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385752725; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385752732; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780385752749. LC 2012049042.
Gr 8 Up—Ember has spent the last eight months in rehabilitation, recovering physically and emotionally from a near-fatal car accident. She can't remember the night of the event or the six weeks leading up to it. She has recovered enough, though, to return home to Brooklyn, New York, and resume her old life-now as a high school senior. Dr. P from the hospital explained that her memory loss is likely a function of her brain's natural defense mechanism, protecting her from traumatic memories while her body heals. Who was she before the accident? As Ember struggles to acclimate to life at home, negotiating the worries of her parents; her friendship with Rachel; and the attention of her ex-boyfriend, Holden, and of her new love interest, Kai, her memory slowly starts to return and the truth of who she was and where she was going that night become clear. Griffin has crafted a story with well-developed characters and a suspenseful plot that keeps readers turning pages. Her exploration of traumatic brain injury, in particular the role memory can play in the healing process, adds depth as well as potential points of entry for discussion.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY
As seventeen-year-old Ember returns to her life after suffering a traumatic brain injury, her memories come and go, in accordance with this book's moody, dreamlike tone. A familiar stranger holds the key to information that feels out of reach. Though it lags in places, the pacing mirrors Ember's slow healing process and lends accurate frustration to an angsty internal struggle.

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