By: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: May 26, 2009
Summary (from Barnes and Noble):
Get this, I'm supposed to be starting a journal about "my journey." Please. I can see it now: Dear Diary, As I'm set adrift on this crazy sea called "life" . . . I don't think so.
It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her.
And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.
They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault.
Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.
But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.
Character Development: 10/10
Total Score: 52
Age Appropriate Rating:
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 10/10
Sexual Content: 6/10
I adored this novel but I'm pretty much a sucker for any book by Elizabeth Scott. Elizabeth Scott is good at portraying true emotion and this novel didn't disappoint. I felt Amy's anger at Julia for dying and her grieving for the loss of a good friend. I felt her parent's hurt for ignoring the opportunity to learn about their child and I felt their willingness to make it right. I felt like I knew Julia even though we only heard about her through Amy's memories. Every sentence held an almost palpable emotion that really made the novel great.
Though the plot has some cliched points (grief, death, family issues, relationship issues, etc.) the letters to Julia made it really unique. It was interesting to see how Amy related a situation in her normal point of view compared to the letters she wrote to Julia. It also helped to get to know their relationship better by how Amy speaks to her and related stuff back to when Julia was alive (like "remember when....").
We really found out what happened to Julia and why Amy feels so much guilt through the therapy sessions Amy has. That's where all the questions of how and why come into play. The therapist really helped Amy to see that her friendship with Julia wasn't as perfect as she thought.
Amy's recovery as an alcoholic and her grief over losing a best friend were paced in real time which means, as anyone who has lost someone knows you never fully get over the person, you just learn to cope, and throughout the novel Amy learned to do this with the help of newly supportive parents and newly formed relationships.
It was written with evidence to the pains Amy was feeling after losing both things she depends on most--alcohol and her best friend.
But though some of the elements of this story were darker Amy's voice definitely carries loads of sarcastic humor which helped move the story along and keep it light. I think my favorite parts were when Amy was recounting a memory of her and Julia. It really let the reader see inside the friendship from when it started to the tragic end.
Overall, the voice was great, the story was original, the characters were real, and the emotions were raw. This is another poignant novel from a great author. It's worth checking out for anyone wanting a beautiful novel about how learning from the past can help you move towards a better future.