After one life-changing night with her secret crush Andy Cooper, Frenchie Garcia, a cigarette-smoking artist who quotes Dickinson and hangs out in a cemetery, is haunted.
Frenchie is in the limbo of what-comes-next. She’s finished high school but has been rejected by art school. She is sullen and anxious and can’t seem to get her life moving. Gradually, what happened that night with Andy and its lingering impact on Frenchie are revealed. It was the same night that Andy ended his own life. No one even knows that she liked Andy, let alone about the time they spent together, so Frenchie keeps her guilt and confusion to herself. When her internal rage finally boils over, she embarks upon an all-night trek with Colin, a boy she barely knows, re-creating every step of her spontaneous adventure with Andy and desperately searching for whatever she must have missed. Sanchez’s expertly crafted narrative moves seamlessly between “that night” and now, pulling readers into Frenchie’s anger and pain without straying into clichés of teen angst. Frenchie’s struggle to identify and process her own emotions rings out as authentic and honest. There are no easy answers for Frenchie Garcia as she attempts to recover from the tragedy of suicide.
An exceptionally well-written journey to make sense of the senseless. (Fiction. 14 & up)