Miles has spent her whole life in the shadow of her cousin Laura. Laura is the golden one—smart, gorgeous, rich, and popular—while Miles considers herself the unwanted one—an unattractive, underachieving social outcast. As far as Miles is concerned, Laura has the perfect life…until Laura commits suicide, leaving Miles lost the wake of the event. Losing Laura shatters Miles and sets her on a dangerous downward spiral. When she hits rock bottom, Miles must make a choice: She can escape from it all, just like Laura did, or she can look for strength in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, and try to find a reason to live.
Cohn (Gingerbread) delves into her darker side as she probes a teen's suicide and the painful repercussions for her loved ones. After her best friend and first cousin, Laura, kills herself with an overdose of prescription drugs, 17-year-old Miles is shattered: the person Miles believed would always be there for her has left without even saying goodbye. And when her flaky mother flees town to mourn with her boyfriend in London, Miles is left alone with Laura's father to endure a summer of grief at his D.C. estate. A prescription-drug addict herself, Miles must embark upon a journey of self-discovery if she is to survive. Cohn once again excels at crafting a multidimensional, in-the-moment teenage world, this time without recourse to her usual witty style. There is a bleakness to her language that superbly suits this sad, somber tale. Her work is heartbreaking, at times excruciating to read, but it rings with authenticity. In pursuing Miles's responses, she spares few details, neither the methods via which Miles and Laura procure their pills nor the actual medical causes of Laura's supposedly peaceful death. The tragedy of teen suicide has been the subject of countless novels, yet rarely has it been discussed with such gritty realism. Ages 12-up.