Davis, Heather wherever you go, 304 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, $16.99. Language: PG-13 (about 25 swears with 1 F); Sexual Content: PG; Violence: PG – Deliberate car crash described.
Holly is a 17-year-old senior who is trying to deal with the death of her boyfriend, Rob, six months ago while being the go-to person for her single mother. She is already the cook, housekeeper, and support for her young sister while their mom works two jobs and then it is decided that Grandpa Aldo has to move in with them. Grandpa is suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, making the family situation even more strained. Holly is able to connect with him but she is finds herself getting overwhelmed with all that is expected of her and literally having no time for herself. Jason realizes that Holly really can be someone special and finds a way to connect with her by helping Holly and her grandfather go on outings to remember special times. Although Rob has died, he is hovering as a ghost, watching people he loved grieve for him. He discovers Aldo can actually see him and talk to him, although it appears to others that Aldo is becoming delusional. Rob uses this to his advantage as he tries to help resolve some of issues that resulted from his death.
I like the story told in three different perspectives: 1st person (Holly), 2nd person (Rob), and 3rd person (Jason). I was touched with the struggles of the family trying to communicate with Aldo and his desire to ease their frustration. The character development was good throughout the book, involving high school drama among Jason’s and Holly’s friends. Understanding that families all have their own dynamics and no one has a perfect life, a theme of asking for help when you need it was also positive. It is a paranormal romance with Rob hovering around the people who were important to him, but it seemed natural rather than a haunting mood. Seeing suicide through so many characters’ perspectives was also enlightening to me. Girls would appreciate the slow pace of the book, but the message is good for all readers.
MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Christine - Library Teacher