by Heather Davis
It's been months since the car accident that killed Rob and nearly killed his girlfriend, Holly. Now Holly has to live with the guilt and the dirty looks from her classmates who blame her. She also has the added burden of taking care of her grandfather with Alzheimer's when he moves in. Her mother works two jobs to support the family, while Holly has to do all the work at home to get her sister to school, her grandfather to his day center and doctors' appointments, and she still has to get good grades in school.
Jason, Rob's best friend, sees Holly struggle and begins to realize that she's in pain. He knows that the other students are wrong about Holly and he starts to feel like maybe Rob didn't deserve her. Now he must find a way to convince Holly, and his own friends, that it's OK for the best friend and girlfriend of the dead guy to get together. It may even be fate.
And then there's Rob. He's floating around, watching his family and friends struggle with his death, even while he himself must come to terms with what happened. Luckily, the Alzheimer's that plaguing Holly's grandfather also allows that grandfather to see Rob. Maybe Rob has a chance to help his friends before he sees "the light".
Or maybe he'll be trapped, helplessly watching, forever...
Final thoughts: There are some interesting ideas here, but it just doesn't come together well. Davis has made the choice to change the viewpoint of each character to help delineate between the three, but she's really just made a mess. Holly is all first person (I, me, etc...). Rob is the rarely used second person (you, your). And Jason is in third person (he, his). It's extremely confusing to start because the writing style keeps switching and you have to re-set your brain over and over again. Holly's mother just ticks me off. I understand that she's struggling to keep the bills paid, but she never fully acknowledges what she's doing to Holly or how poorly she's treating her. Often, as I read Holly, I kept feeling like I was reading about a 12-year-old and not a 17-year-old girl. Her feelings were immature and childish and just didn't sit well with me. The ending got a little preachy with the whole accepting life/fate/the future, etc... This is a good book to recommend for those dealing with grief, but it's a little heavy for the casual reader.