About the Book: Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges - until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal. Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she's not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn't know he's gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there's Charlie: three years old, a "surprise" baby, the center of everyone's world. He's devoted to Fern, but he's annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn't for Ran, Fern's calm and positive best friend, there'd be nowhere to turn. Ran's mantra, "All will be well," is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it's true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.
About the Author: Jo Knowles is the author of the YA novels Lessons from a Dead Girl and Jumping Off Swings . The recipient of the 2005 PEN Literary Award, she lives in Vermont.
My Thoughts: I thought this book was a little hard to get into at first. The author seemed to spend a lot of time describing the family dynamics of Fern’s family. This all makes sense as you get further and further into the story because everything changes when tragedy strikes. This book made me cry as I wondered what I would do, or how I would handle a similar situation. Would I be like Fern’s mom? Would I be like Dad, Fern, Holden or Sarah? I recommend this book to anyone. Very good!