Carrie's life fell apart when her sister died, and she isn't sure how to put it back together again.
For the last couple of years, Carrie's life has been tortuous to navigate. After her sister's death, the family slowly dissolved into grief, and Carrie's intense fits of rage didn't help. Then her mother left on a retreat and didn't come back. Now, Carrie, her younger sister, Rosie, and her father, all white, must face the repercussions of trauma on their own, and they're not doing very well. Carrie finds solace in her sister's older, primarily white friends, who help her deaden feelings of guilt with drugs and alcohol during parties in the basement of Korean-American Soo. When the floppy-haired white boy next door proves to be not only good-looking, but also a nice guy with great taste in music, things start looking up. But it will take Carrie’s sentence to a rehabilitative work program and confronting the truth of the night her sister died for her to really return from a place of devastating grief. Davis makes the 1980s shine through this dark book with multiple references to popular bands and song lyrics. However, the sheer number of tragic situations makes the whole thing feel overwrought. The writing makes interesting connections between science and teen angst, but the lyrical aspects of the book sometimes feel forced.
A not entirely successful trip back in time to when teenagers thought problems could be solved with a really great mix tape. (Historical fiction. 14-18)