|FALL FOR ANYTHING|
This premise is one that has been done a million times. The death of a parent, suicide of a loved one. It's good, but it's nothing special. However, it's Summers' unique writing and incredible knack for emotion that brings this book into a category all its own. Eddie's pain at losing her father, her confusion about the best friend who won't answer her questions, and the frustration at her mother who's hurting just as bad, comes through loud and clear. Eddie is a quiet, somewhat off-kilter girl whose only real friend is the boy she got "stuck with" in the second grade and whose lack of purpose is in itself a character trait. The relationships here are incredibly written. Instead of being bogged down by description, certain details describing characters or relationships seem to be very purposely added in, giving the relationships a very complete, very real feeling without belaboring the point. I absolutely loved the relationship Eddie and Milo (her best friend) shared, as well as how perfectly her feelings toward her mother's friend came across. It was incredible how much, despite the plot itself not being something I have experience with, I could relate to and understand Eddie Reeves.
The storyline involving the mysterious, older photography student is one that could have easily fell off the tracks and instead seemed almost perfect. The things Eddie does, the ways she reacts and the people she seeks out just fit this heavy grief that she's carrying around and as a reader you feel for her even as you want to scream at her. Culler (the photography student) is the sort of character that is, to a certain extent, open to interpretation. He's carrying his own grief, yes, but he also seems to have a menacing air about him, as if there's just something horribly off, and it adds an edge to this sullen story.
This book is so perfectly about not only grief, but questions of love and responsibility and who can you possibly rely on when your whole world is tipped upside down, shaken like a snowglobe. The setting accents this perfectly, as Eddie and Milo wander around their one-horse town that acts as a backdrop to the seeming impossibility and helplessness of Eddie's situation. Bottom line: this book is incredible and amazing. It's insanely well-written and the story itself has definitely set up residence in my heart. I absolutely love it and recommend it. If you found Courtney Summers' earlier books too harsh or just haven't bothered to read anything by her yet, start with this. It's such a departure from Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are, while still bearing many trademarks of a Courtney Summers novel. Read it.