BRINGING UP THE BONES by Lara M. Zeises

BRINGING UP THE BONES

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

An honor winner in the Delacorte Prize for a first YA novel, Zeises tells of a 19-year-old girl’s processing of grief and slow growth away from relationship dependency. When he went away to California, Benji was Bridget’s first and only love. Left behind in Delaware, she’s stunned when Benji is killed in an automobile accident only three weeks after sending her a letter ending their relationship. She’d always known that she was the one who knew that they were a true couple and that Benji didn’t quite see it that way. His family, hers, and their friends are mostly unaware that they had broken up and Bridget sleepwalks through the entire funeral without sharing the secret. The story begins when numbness wears off—about six months later. Close friend Ellie chides Bridget into attending a frat party at nearby University of Delaware. An almost wordless encounter finds Ellie in Jasper’s bed the next morning, and surprisingly in his life despite the inauspicious beginning. Bridget is prickly, difficult, and completely incapable of understanding her own behavior. Her journey toward self-discovery is gradual and believably revealed. Initially, some of the others seem stonily invulnerable to the grief that is eating at Bridget, but in small telling incidents, the pain of others reveals itself as well. Without shifting the focus from Bridget, the author surrounds her with characters that enrich and authenticate her emotional journey. While similar to many angst-filled YA novels that deal with death and relationships, this honors a particular voice and a discovery that much of life must be lived without a significant other by our side. Broodingly honest. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-385-73001-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




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