Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Brenda Rufener
Aggi Frank and Max Granger are in love—young, blissful, perfect love. But everything changes when a car crash kills their older siblings and rips their two families apart. Between a restraining order and battling lawsuits, Aggi and Max drift apart and their parents forbid them from being together. As Aggi’s father spirals into uncontrollable rage and grief, Aggi must make a choice: to be cowed forever by her father and her crushing guilt, or to stand up for family, love, and hope.
This book is heartbreaking and full of loss and emotion. The different ways that people handle grief are explored, with Aggi’s parents either withdrawing or exploding in anger, and the kids suffering from the behavior of their absent and volatile parents. At some points, the plot seems to diverge into unrelated bits that don’t add much to the story. However, the book overall packs an emotional punch and shows the healing power of forgiveness, loving relationships, and letting go of bottled-up grief.
*Contains moderate language, mild violence, and mild sexual content.