Harper, 2018 (2018)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is essentially the story of two teens, Jess and Lucas, who each lost a close family member in a neighborhood shooting. The novel portrays the long-lasting damage this has caused (beyond the deaths of those they loved) to them and to their families - and how the sympathy of those who have not gone through this harrowing experience, does little to help.
he story opens a year after the mass shooting in Queens. Lucas can't get over the fact that his older brother Jason died protecting him, covering him with his body. Therapy hasn't helped, so he takes up boxing, to the dismay of his now very overprotective parents.
ess has had to look after her mother, who has been in a deep depression since her beloved brother Ethan's death. Jess's best friend Marissa (Ethan's girlfriend) was so traumatized by the event that her parents sent her away for treatment. Jess misses her terribly and feels so alone - '
Everyone's a ghost
', even those who didn't die.
n the novel, these young people, over time, find ways to help each other. Sadly, I suspect that many in real life are unable to make the same recovery.
is very well written and very well worth reading.
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