Sarah, a highschool student, is hit by a car on her way to poetry class. In her pocket is a poem to Mr. Haddings, her poetry teacher, whom she is crushing on. When Mr. Haddings accidentally hits his student while driving to work, he has to decide if he will acknowledge his growing attraction to her or continue to act professionally as he has been doing all year.
What first drew me to this book is the lovely cover, so beautiful and hinting about the romantic tragedy within.
This book was okay, not amazing though. It’s told from two different perspectives, those of Sarah and Mr. Haddings, which right away gave me a headache, because it takes a very special author with a very good story to pull off dual POVs. It’s badly done really; shifting POVs multiple times within one conversation is a no-no in my book.
The random flashbacks don’t help either.
The pacing is far too slow, and the plot is one-dimesional. The story takes place over three days, and goes into great detail about the hospitalization of Sarah after the accident. I mean, really exceptional detail- the feeling like you’re peeing during CAT scans, the surgery, the waiting room, the catheter, the stitches oozing, the bedpan awkwardness, the vomiting. So many different people threw up in this book that I lost count! Ew. If you like E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy, you might like this book!
I did not like that Haddings character was used to basically eavesdrop on Sarah’s family. If you needed to write about Sarah’s family, then why not use a POV from the family? It made me dislike Haddings character in the beginning.
The characters are deep and complicated, all with different reactions to a crisis. Very realistic and interesting to see how they develop. As they interact and react to the situation, we learn more about them. (For instance, at first I thought Sarah’s father must be lazy and unreliable, based on the mother’s responses to him; but later on I realized that that is not his character at all. It’s the mother who is too overbearing and critical.)
I got very confused about the level of spirituality in Sarah’s family. They mention God and prayer, but don’t seem to really rely on God during the crisis. They get angry, are hateful, and out of control, and don’t seem to care that their actions and attitudes are sinful. They don’t even attempt to comfort or evangelize a frightened young man who needs their forgiveness. So are they Christians? or what? Is this a Christian book, or just a regular book with five references to God thrown in by the editor?
Personally, I found myself bored and impatient with the plot, but interested and invested in the characters themselves. It’s a great character study, but the story itself needs work.
After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah’s future is all laid out before her … that is until 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 Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with 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 a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.
About the Author
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 three acclaimed novels: 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.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher or author for review. The opinions stated here are my own, and are not influenced by the publisher or anyone else.