Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Intergenerational Story for Young Teens

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
(Young Adults)
book cover of 
Wherever You Go 
Heather Davis
What at first glance seems to be just another teen-age angst/first love surprises with a depth of plot and emotional intricacy.

Holly Mullen is a 17-year old still reeling from the death of her boyfriend,Rob,  nearly a year before.  Holly's life was never easy before, what with a largely absent mother, a completely absent father and the care of her 9-year old sister.  Holly plods along from day to day hoping her life will return to some semblance of normal. Plus, she just can't shake the sense that Rob is still near, haunting her memories. 

Enter Aldo, her Alzheimer-ailing grandfather.  Once again, Holly is left to be the primary caregiver.  Aldo is plunging deeper into the depths of dementia and Holly is picking up the pieces of her shattered grandfather's life as well as her own.  Soon, Aldo starts mentioning a boy named 'Roberto' and the reader discovers this is Holly'ys Rob.  Dead Rob.  Reluctant ghost Rob.  Rob doesn't like how Holly's has stagnated but is incenses when she starts talking to another boy, one who used to be his best friend.

Woven throughout the story is a true sense of loss on every level-whether abandonment, death, betrayal or disease.  Each character is flawed and aching with loneliness and you find yourself trying to give each advice.  The characters seem that real!  Told through the perspective of three different characters (Holly as 1st person, Jason as 3rd and Rob as a never before seen 2ND PERSON!), the plot becomes more involved with each page and you wonder how the characters can break out of their situation.

This is a real tearjerker at the end with a surprise I didn't expect just when I thought the story had given me it's all.

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