It’s been six years since Maia’s mother left and one year since she was hospitalized for attempting suicide. The depression is starting to set in again, but this time she has The Plan.
Eighteen-year-old Maia is determined to find her mother. The young white woman has no problem saying goodbye to her father or even her best friends, but leaving Billy, her longtime crush, proves more difficult. She risks a meeting, thinking if she can just see him one more time, she’ll be able to leave. But Billy is just as unwilling to lose her, offering to run away with her. He knows how to disappear, telling her that cellphones are out, but good music and snack foods are a must. Maia finds herself falling in love with the freckled white boy. And when everything starts falling apart, losing him seems like just one more thing she cannot bear. Veteran Rice pens a riveting examination of the ravages of depression and loss. Both Maia and Billy are well-formed and complicated, and their progression from acquaintanceship to love will tug at even the most jaded hearts. An author’s note and resources serve as encouragement for those battling their own pain.
This novel clearly demonstrates that sometimes it is only in darkness that one can see light. (Fiction. 12-16)