As she watches over her older sister lying in a coma following a car accident, 17-year-old Abby sorts out her own jealousies and fears in a feast of introspection.
Abby’s real relationship with the seemingly perfect Tess belies her younger sister’s concern. Abby envied Tess’ beauty, confidence and ability to attract the approval of everyone she met. She even pushed herself into a relationship with one of Tess’ cast-off boyfriends, although she knew the boy loved Tess and not her. At the hospital, Abby meets Eli, an extraordinarily handsome boy who, it turns out, finds Abby attractive. Abby, however, won’t allow herself to encourage him, even though Eli entrances her. Scott slowly unfolds Abby’s damaged psyche as the girl grows in her understanding of both herself and of her sister. Abby’s ability to accept herself as an attractive person develops in parallel to her slow acceptance of the reality of her sister’s injury. Most likely, Tess will never emerge from her coma. The author creates well-developed characters in Abby, Eli and, eventually, in Tess, as Abby learns much more about her sister than she ever had expected to know. Supporting characters, too, easily stand out as real individuals.
Abby’s emotional growth from her experiences, conversations and introspection emerges ever so slowly but will satisfy many teen readers. Leisurely but gratifying. (Fiction. 14 & up)