Author: Jenny Hubbard
Series: Stand Alone
Published: January 28th 2014 by Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self. This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
I Give This ...
I was worried how this book would portray these events. It's a was delicate subject for sure. It was lacking in the details and emotion I wanted. And their are a few chain of events that just didn't sit well with me.
I never fully understood how Paul ended up shooting himself. The events are told through flashbacks. I almost would have liked something that expressed Paul's thoughts because Emily feels so disconnected from all of this. His actions seem so intense for what happened. I think he was trying to get his feeling heard and noticed, but either the author didn't convey this moment well....or Paul never meant to hurt anybody. So, we're back to how did he end up shooting himself? In the stomach no less. I don't think that's a "normal" route to suicide.
I did think Emily's emotions were completely valid. I just didn't like how she got to were she was. I think she handled the entire situation very poorly. I'm not saying Paul's death is her fault. I just think there are a lot of other ways she could have handled this. Her parents reacted to the issues poorly as well. But, in light of all of these, it's no wonder that Emily goes into a deep depression. It's a lot of for any person to handle.
I think this book could have been great. And maybe it's my own personal thoughts on certain events that happen in this book that sway my opinion. It just wasn't all that I had hoped it would be.