Rating: 4 stars.
Short Summary: Carver’s life falls apart after he texts his three best friends – who while responding get into an accident that takes their life. Carver tries to come to terms with his own guilt over the accident and the impact it has on the people around him.
I was a fan of Serpent King, so I was certainly looking forward to tackling Zentner’s next book. I think I enjoyed this piece more than the last.
What I liked: I appreciated the way that it handled a very relevant moral dilemma. Texting and driving is still too prevalent, so it was nice to see a book that really latched on to this theme.
Zentner crawled us through Carver’s life following the accident and showed how piece by piece he was falling apart and reinventing himself after.
I always love strong female characters in novels, and I was pleased to see that the girls in this book did not let me down. His sister was a great model/defender, Adair was a force to be reckoned with (even if you hate her) and even Jesmyn stands on her own two feet.
The book was beautifully emotional without being trope-y. It was heart breaking to watch the main character face such a horrific aftermath of his friends. It’s a heavy piece, but a heavy well done piece.
What I didn’t: Although there were flashbacks to the boys and their antics, I honestly would have enjoyed getting to know the three dead boys more. I suppose there is only so much you can fit inside a confined word length.
Recommendation: This is a heavy book. You don’t come out of it with happy feelings, but more of a sad (but good) book hangover. If you’re up for some emotions, have at it.