Author: Lisa Graff
Published by: Philomel Books (2015)
My Rating: ✭✭✩✩✩
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is.
If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.
It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.
Plot: This book was awful. Horrid. Terrible. Okay, I take some of that back. The story was actually amazing. But for me an ending can ruin a story and that’s exactly what happened: the ending of this book completely ruined the entire story. First of all, you can’t just spend the whole book embellishing on Fallon Little and her mysterious scar, then never tell us what happened. What’s even worse is when the author finishes the book—seriously, it was the very last scene—with Fallon sitting down to tell us her story. The narrator, our main character Trent, writes, “And she told me the beginning of her story.” Then bam. The book is over. No more. Turn the page, search for an epilogue—nothing. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish with this, but you can’t just build that much suspense and never tell what actually happened. It was very irritating.
Positives: If the book hadn’t ended that way, I would write more about the amazing storyline of the book and how realistic the characters are portrayed and how shocking and incredible it was for me to realize that this was, in a way, a spin-off to Umbrella Summer. And to be honest, I still liked everything up until the end. It truly was a beautiful book and a wonderful new work from Lisa Graff. To me, though, the ending just ruined it all. It built up suspense, teased me with partial answers and more questions, and then never tells me the actual answer. On that same note, Trent really never fixes things with his dad. And I get it—the whole point of the story is just his finding his fresh start. But it would have been nice to see a bit more of it, instead of just his life leading up to the fresh start.