Author: Carrie Arcos
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: April 15, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction
Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.
Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.
As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.
This book started off slow, and I experienced one of those traumatic feelings where I didn’t know if I was going to finish it, but I have to say, I’m really glad I did. This book pulls at the heartstrings of anyone who has lost someone close to them. It doesn’t matter if it was recent, or many years ago, Arcos manages to tug at your emotions and pull you closer into the story with every turning page.
I understand that my version of a good story might not be the same as anyone else’s, but with this book, I can honestly say I teared up a bit. It follows A young, teenage boy, Mark Santos, around after the death of his sister, Grace. They were twins, and as hard as it is to lose a parent or other sibling, losing the one person who is just like you is harder then anything. Of course, Mark and Grace were fraternal twins, not identical, but the connection that they shared is one that is hard to find between any other regular siblings.
Besides the strong twin connection and loss that comes with the car crash which separated them, Mark is having a hard time overcoming the grief of losing a sister. Unfortunately, she is not the only person whom he has lost in his life, as a young child, his mother left them behind as well and he has never been the same since. Although he loves his step mother and half sister, nothing quite fills the void left by a parent or sibling. I loved that the author, Arcos, managed to pull together such difficult topics and present to the reader a way to overcome these hardships.
By overcoming hardships, the main idea for the novel is that Mark is honoring his sister by doing the things that she wished she could have done before she died. It’s a touching way to remember the deceased but at times I had to flip back through the pages just to remember what the 5 things were. Through the test and trials of Mark and some of his friends, he learns how to forgive himself and reconnect his life so that he and the people around him do not suffer the pain as much.
Of course, with every young adult fiction story, there is always a romance, and this book was no different. There were tests and trials, rooting for the good guy (and the bad), finding oneself, and of course, a happily ever after. But what else could you hope for from a young adult novel? Overall, I’d have to say this was a good book, probably not one that I’d read again any time soon, but a good story none the less.
When I am not sitting around reading any kind of book that I can get my hands on, I can be found casually walking around or writing a novel of my own. I am a current high school student with an passion for reading, writing, taking pictures, and a (secret) gym fanatic.
I enjoy any and all kinds of books, but my favorites are YA, dystopian, British Literature, and historical fiction. I am a big believer in fan fiction and read as much of it as I can. I aspire to be a YA writer and can constantly be found writing way more then I need to for any writing assignment.