In this sequel to A Life, Redefined (2020), Appalachian teen Rowan Slone is back and starting her senior year of high school.
She has big dreams for her future after overcoming the mess her dysfunctional family made of her junior year. Will Rowan make it to college amid the hurricane that is her life? Rowan finally feels like she has gotten things together: living with her boyfriend's parents, the Andersons; doing well at her job at the animal shelter; and hoping to get financial aid for college. However, Rowan’s carefully rebuilt life looks like it will come crashing down when her abusive father returns and her sister, Trina, pushes for them to be one big happy family. Already feeling like a burden to the Andersons and missing her boyfriend, Mike, who used to be her support system but is now in college five hours away, Rowan starts to spiral. The author explores the obsessive thoughts that accompany self-harm and elements of mental illness sensitively and explicitly. Rowan has a well-developed, strong character arc, and the secondary characters are better developed than in the previous volume. Readers unfamiliar with Rowan’s story will find this novel accessible but will gain more from having read the first book. Main characters are presumed to be White.
A piercing and heartwarming sequel.(Fiction. 14-18)