Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-This story shows how two losses, one past and one present, affect the life of high school senior Dani Falls. After her mother dies in a tragic bear attack, Dani is forced to move across the country to New Mexico to live with a previously unknown aunt. She deals with her feelings of detachment and grief by reading Albert Camus's The Stranger and walking in the desert. As she gets to know her formerly estranged aunt and her new neighbors, Dani learns more about her mother's past, which helps her to come to terms with her own. With well-integrated story lines and fully developed characters, this title explores tragic loss and the human ability to overcome it. The occasional strong language is authentically woven into the narrative, while the author's vivid descriptions of the New Mexico landscape immerse readers in the setting. VERDICT An engaging tale that will appeal to fans of darker contemporary novels.-Tegan Anclade, Lake Villa District Library, IL © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Dani has never had a great relationship with her abusive, seemingly unloving mother. But when a horrible accident claims her mother's life, a numb Dani is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew existed. Used to a life on the move, prickly Dani doesn't know how to interact with her newly discovered relative, pushing everyone away and secretly fearing that she was partially responsible for her mother's death. As she gets to know her new town, she meets Paulo, an aspiring filmmaker who works at the local gas-station market. As Dani also gets to know her aunt, she slowly learns about her family's history and the abuse that her mother and aunt suffered from their own parents. Readers should note that, while this novel contains incidents of physical violence and emotional abuse, it is a beautiful and moving tale that accurately captures the complications and dysfunctions of different families and examines how to slowly rise above the past and create a future.--Mack, Candice Copyright 2016 Booklist