If you’re looking for teenage angst in massive proportions then look no further.
Years after losing her brother Jake to a freak accident, Jaycee spends her time pushing boundaries and limits. She has stepped into his shoes and has become a daredevil, then again perhaps she is just careless.
She spends her time retracing his dares and stunts in an attempt to recreate a feeling or sense of him being there with her.
What is it exactly Jaycee is hoping to achieve, an eery ghostly or soul connection with Jake? It almost seems as if she is suffering from a bizarre type of survivors guilt.
Along for the ride is the merry band of odd-ball friends. Each one of them shares a connection to her dead brother in their own way.The fallout from his accident has had disastrous consequences, especially for Jaycee and her family. Indeed the entire story revolves around the why how and who of it all. The other focal point is on the relationships, heartache and friendships in this close-knit group of young people.
I thought it was far too hysterical, angst-filled and lacking in any real depth. It was a missed opportunity to make it a memorable novel about grief, the aftermath of a senseless death and the repercussions for those left behind. Surprising considering the issues McCarthy manages to throw in there almost as an afterthought. Abuse, sibling rivalry, selective mutism, mental health and grief are just a few.
Will it appeal to younger readers and teens? Probably. Certainly for readers looking for a squee instead of something other than a superficial read.
If McCarthy forgoes the necessity of producing a book aimed at ticking all the boxes and takes her themes to a deeper level then she could quite possibly produce a read everyone will remember.