Sarah has a theory about BFF Jamie’s death, but no one wants to hear it.
Even though Jamie’s recent death in the school gym was an accident, 15-year-old Sarah Jones can’t help but wonder about her own culpability in the incident. Her snarky, conversational present-tense narration is filled with graphs, charts, and maps about her life, as well as numerous Star Wars references and capitalized words. In it, she hides her guilt and grief through sarcasm. It doesn’t help that her hot boyfriend wants to have sex or that she feels herself growing closer to Jamie’s twin brother, Emmett, who also wants to know the truth about his sister’s death. When she witnesses a deer crash through a gym window and die in the exact spot as Jamie, she discovers that in the mythology of the Ancient Scythians (cultures in Russia, China, Romania and central Asia), this swift animal was believed to speed the spirit of the dead on its way. Perhaps it’s not Jamie who needs the help moving on. A run-in with the seemingly odd custodian (aka Captain Possum because of his equally strange pet possum) sent to clean up the dead deer sets Sarah on the path to healing and forgiveness.
Despite the story’s rushed ending, Sarah’s snappy yet pithy observations will appeal to teens working on their own theories about life. (Fiction. 14 & up)