In a world nearly identical to our own, two teens struggle with tragedy.
Flint’s existence has unfolded under the shadow of a phenomenon in which people experience a twinge, or medical event, at the halfway point of their lives, revealing the exact date when they will die. Flint and his family have returned to his childhood home of Carbon Junction, where he half-lifed when he was in third grade. When the book opens, his death date is just 41 days, 9 hours, and 42 minutes away. Flint is reacting angrily to his heartbroken parents’ attempts to help, barely eating, and refusing basic comforts like warm clothing. Carbon Junction is also home to the Half-Life Institute, where the phenomenon is researched. September, a brilliant young woman who interns there, is grieving the death of her 4-year-old sister. At its heart a romance, this alternating narrative juxtaposition of a melancholy but beautiful boy clad in all black and a vibrant girl who only wears bright colors is a familiar opposites-attract setup. The tension between the two is drawn out at length, which should please fans of the genre. The science-fiction elements are less developed but still create a compelling premise that guides the plot and gives ample motivation to the sympathetic characters for the complicated decisions they must make. The main characters are cued White; there are some queer and racially and ethnically diverse secondary characters.
A thoughtful, heart-rending story of doomed first love.(Romance. 13-18)