Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick
Oakley Nelson just lost her brother, Lucas. She thinks she might never recover. When her mother decides to spend some time in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley jumps at the chance to try something different. In Jo’s beach house Oakley finds some solace and when her mom hands her a notebook full of letters from Lucas. Through the letters and a cute surfer named Carson, Oakley just might start to be able to live without her best friend. Yep, you guessed it. There were tears. Chantele Sedgwick has created an authentic, emotional look at loss and grieving. I would recommend this touching novel.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet at the top of the school bell tower, they sort of save each other. Violet is stuck in grief and guilt, stumbling through life without living while Finch is pretending to be so many different versions of himself that he has lost the real one. I saw a review of this book that was titled “Devastatingly beautiful,” and I have to agree. It was heart-wrenching, hopeful, and dark but bright at the same time. Jennifer Niven has written a book that is frustratingly complex and yet completely real in its range of emotions. I definitely recommend reading it but be aware that it was an overwhelming and kind of devastating experience that, at least for me, will stick around for awhile.
The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram
Avery Shaw just got her heart broken. She finally told her best friend, Aiden, that she’s in love with him and he responded by asking for space to be with his new girlfriend. Ever the scientist, Avery devises an experiment to see if the five stages of grief—denial/bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, acceptance—can help her overcome a broken heart. Avery enlists the help of Aiden’s older brother, Grayson, to be her impartial observer. She thinks he’s in it just for the extra credit but Grayson has more in mind than just science. The book seems to send the message that a shy, science-geek girl needs to be “fixed” which is another example of societal pressures to be extroverted. Yet, I couldn’t put it down. Once, I put aside my views on introvertedness, the story was so cute and captivating that I read it in one sitting. I particularly liked the main female character, Avery. Sure, she has problems and broke down into tears several times but she was also doing her best to be better and could still hold her own versus Grayson. She gave off both senses of strength and vulnerability which made her more real than some of the other female protagonists that I’ve read lately. And Grayson is just as swoon-worthy as a chick-lit main male character should be. He was genuinely caring and fun. Overall, for me this was a much-needed win in the chick-lit/light romance category.
5 Stages of Grief When Bad Things Happen to Beloved Characters via Book Riot
This is spot on! And I will NEVER get over the death of Sirius Black! Whose death will you never get over?