A girl in rural Maine, dealing with the emotional aftermath of an accident for which she feels responsible, learns to let go of the guilt that haunts her.
Seventeen-year-old Quinn Sawyer’s life has become unrecognizable. The middle child in a once inseparable, tightknit family, including her gay older brother, Reed, younger sister, Fern, and family friend, Dylan—beloved by all three siblings—Quinn now feels ostracized and wracked with guilt. The aftermath of a tragic accident at their family-run summer camp, The Hundreds, has poisoned their relationships. With the help of stalwart supporters including her best friend, Korean-American Hana Chang, quirky grandmother Nana Eden, and the new boy in town, Alexander Kostopoulos, a Greek-British student wrestling with family issues of his own, Quinn slowly begins to heal. While some of the characters, such as Quinn’s hippie mother, can at times feel like predictable caricatures, Quinn’s self-blame and her siblings’ confusion and anger ring true. The plot, which unfolds in chapters alternating between the events of the summer and the present day, is compelling, drawing the reader in as the mystery of what actually happened is revealed. One is left to cheer for Quinn and her grieving, wounded family in the satisfying climax. The Sawyer family and Dylan are white.
A somewhat unconventional story about grief and guilt featuring a sympathetic protagonist. (Fiction. 13-18)