After a popular cheerleader plunges to her death, her younger sister forges an unexpected relationship with the boy responsible.
Brady’s sister Sabine died on the floor of their high school gym from a broken neck when she failed to complete a complicated flip. Brady and her family blame Sabine’s lift partner, Connor Christopher, for not catching her. But after Connor helps Brady with her car one wintry afternoon, she does an about-face and decides he’s not that bad a guy after all. Brady’s feelings about Connor are confirmed when Sabine’s cellphone voice mail reveals dark truths about her bright sister: Sabine was pregnant, her perfect boyfriend, Nick, verbally abused her, and Connor was the only one who knew. The question of what Brady will do with this information is complicated by the underdeveloped subplots of her parents’ deteriorating marriage, her loss of a prestigious school art prize, and her best friend Martha’s decision to date Sabine’s abusive ex. All of this leads to a bizarre climax in which Brady hurls some of Sabine’s cremains at Nick after he drugs and kidnaps Martha, obliterating any suspension of disbelief. While the initial premise is intriguing, the story is crippled by self-conscious dialogue, abrupt transitions and the fact that all relevant information is spelled out instead of shown.
Overwrought and half baked. (Fiction. 13 & up)