Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received the book as part of the BlinkYA book tour. The opinions expressed here are my own.
About the Book:
After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah's future is all laid out before her … but then she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Mr. Haddings. And she becomes convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back. As she sets off for school in the rain, she slips a poem in her back pocket—one that will declare her feelings once and for all. Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah's attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning. But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels the thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.
I really enjoyed this book. I was reminded of my senior year in high school. We had a student intern come to our school. All of the students liked him. He crossed the line when he invited students to come to his apartment. He was trying to be friendly and let them see what college life was like. There was one girl who was infatuated with him the way Sarah was with Mr. Haddings. It almost cost him his internship. He was lucky. The parents had already talked to him about their daughter’s infatuation with him. He did everything he could to avoid her and never be alone with her. Unfortunately she showed up at his apartment with a few other students and a rumor got started. It was completely unclear how much Haddings made clear his feelings for Sarah. I felt from his writing he definitely liked her. However, I am not sure if a lot of it was from guilt. Having someone injured to the point that you have to help them recover is tough. So many friends leave because they really don’t know what to say. I found this book to be so realistic and true to life in so many ways. The anger felt by everyone in the family, even when they tried to deny there was anger was spot on. I have to mention the father’s faith. He was shocked by how angry he felt when he met Haddings. Most people believe that having faith means you never get angry. For me seeing the father react was what really made this feel so real. Families try to pretend things are one way and then they try to hide feelings only to lose control at some point. There were so many ways to connect to this book. My cousin was involved in a terrible accident, the night she got engaged. When she finally regained consciousness a few weeks later, she overheard her fiancé make a comment that he could never marry a retard or someone who looked like a monster. Luke reminded me of him in his inability to hold his tongue. I think that teens can definitely benefit from reading this book. I think it would be of benefit for teachers to read this as well.
I am careful every day how I speak to my students because I never want to put myself in the position that we find so any teachers in. This was an excellent book and one I will gladly share with my students.
About Lorie Ann Grover:
Lorie Ann Grover is a co-founder of the influential site readergirlz, where she is a visible advocate for teen literacy and activism. In addition, she is the author of four acclaimed novels: Firstborn, Hold Me Tight, a VOYA pick; On Pointe, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; and Loose Threads, a Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel and a 2003 Washington state Book Award Finalist. Lorie Ann lives in Washington State with her husband. Read more at www.lorieanngrover.com