Tamsen Baird has always lived a different kind of normal.
Raised in bars and surrounded by music, Tam lost her mother when she was 10, fell in love when she was 14, and now, at 17, she is a high school dropout “turned-teen-bride-turned-widow.” One reckless night shortly after Noah’s funeral lands Tam in front of a judge, ordered to graduate from high school and attend weekly meetings of a support group for young widows. Less than thrilled on both counts, Tam nevertheless begins the difficult journey toward healing and reimagining a new life for herself. It’s an interesting premise for a novel, particularly because Tam was not a teen forced into marriage by circumstance. She and Noah were genuinely in love and planning for a future together. Given his sudden death so early in the novel and the choice of title, readers will likely anticipate a story rich with emotion. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Tam gives lip service to her grief, but the words never translate into deep and meaningful emotion. Even her sessions with the other young widows, though entertaining, feel hollow. Perhaps that is why it’s easy to believe that she would quickly find herself falling for a new guy. This romance is what will keep readers turning the pages.
Tissues not required. (Fiction. 12-16)