About the Book:
Beginnings and endings overlap in this soaring novel of love and loss from bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti, whose writing SLJ has called “reminiscent of the best of Sarah Dessen.”
Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.
Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town. Despite all the beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost. Her most cherished possession—a rare plant of her mother’s—is starting to wither, and with it, Tessa’s heart and her hope.
Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more important, he understands her. Though secrets stand between them, each has a chance at healing…if first, Tessa can find the courage to believe in forever.
Losing your mother is hard, even when you are a mom in your forties yourself. I can't imagine how awful it must be to lose your mom when you are a teenager. In Tessa's case, she not only lost her mom, in some ways she lost her dad too. Instead of parenting her, he chose to spend his time stoned, until one day when he realized that a change of scenery might help and he packed her off to his mother's (who Tessa didn't know) while he found himself. During her time there Tessa gets to know new people who give her a dream and help make it come true.
One of the major characters in the book is a plant, yes, that's right, a plant, and no, it's not one that talks or eats people or anything like that. Pixiebell was planted by Tess' grandfather and kept by her mother. She has always been told it may be the last of its kind. When Tess and her father head off on their road trip Pixiebell comes too, and starts to die.
I've read that all of us have a God-shaped hole in our heart and those who don't know God seek other things to fill that hole, most of them destructive. I think part of that seeking of God is a seeking for immortality. Because we are meant to be with God, the idea of ceasing to exist bothers us. Religion is not mentioned at all in this book and Pixiebell is how Tessa seeks immortality.
This is a coming of age novel. Tess moves from her first boyfriend to her first love and then to realizing that love can mean a lot of different things. She watches her dad grow from a pothead she has to care for to a father who can care for her. She learns that dreams can come true--and that sometimes they aren't meant to.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via Edelweiss. Grade: B+