Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book, in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on September 18th.
Korrian is struggling after losing his best friend a year prior to the events in this book. His grades are slipping, he’s pretty isolated, and his only real interaction is when he deals with the bullies at his school.
Heading home one day, he hears crying coming from the cemetery- but there’s no one there, except for the ghost of a girl named Sonnet. She becomes Korrian’s only friend, and is a bit of a sounding board for him as he tries to move on past his friend’s death. He blames himself, even though there’s nothing he could have done.
Eventually, after being suspended from school for fighting, Korrian finds his way into a music shop. There he meets Regan, Lin, and Aisley (aka, the girl of his dreams). Can Korrian find a way to move on and continue his life- even after losing his best friend?
This book was very sweet, and deals with issues of depression, guilt, and grief in a way that was very real, but never felt over-the-top. Korrian was a likable character, and life crapped on him a lot- usually when he was just trying to be a good guy. That can seem pretty freaking easy to relate to some days. It was sad to see him so lost, but it also made me root for him as he started to learn to continue on after the tragedy he’d experienced.
In fact, most of the characters were just trying to do the best the could with the life they’d been given. I even felt bad for the bullies because it was easy to see that their anger was a misplaced way of dealing with their own hurt and fears. Because of this, I found this book very believable (minus the ghost).
The ending was solid, in that it had a tone of hope. My only gripe is that there were a couple of characters that just wandered into the narrative, stayed long enough to become part of it, then disappeared again. What happened to them? No idea.
That’s a very minor thing, though, and it doesn’t diminish this book in any way. Well done, Mr. Simmons!