Author: Rebecca Serle
Synopsis: Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.
Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this. Writing this honest review to say thank you
This book is sad and beautiful. Caggie’s struggling with the loss of her sister (who died under Caggie’s watch), the loss of her boyfriend (who broke up with her after he didn’t know how to help her anymore), her brother (who spends his summer away at the beach house where the sister died), her father (who’s always away on business) and her mother (who’s distanced herself from everybody and busied herself with pointless things like redecorating the house). So when Caggie meets Astor, the dark, brooding, understanding boy who is also suffering, the two of them envelop each other with their grief, suffocating and drowning together in it. Caggie feels safe with him, but she doesn’t know anything about him. And she’s happy that way. She begins to distance herself from her remaining friends and doesn’t even care. She stops being interested in things she once loved.
The romance between Caggie and Astor is scary. It’s so clear to everyone around her that there is something wrong, that they aren’t good for each other, yet she sees them as the wrong ones. And who wouldn’t. She’s so lost in what happened, what she almost did on the rooftop of a classmates house (which earned her hero status that wasn’t justly deserved) that she just dives in deeper. Until she discovers just how gone Astor really is.
The darkness in this book is so sad, and the grief these characters suffer is unbearable. I can’t totally see why Caggie did what she did, but I’m also so glad that she was able to overcome her grief. I love how the issues were dealt with in this book and how the relationships were handled. And the writing~ it is so beautiful.
Fans of contemporary YA will love this for sure.