Two teens must come to terms with their friend’s death in a car crash in this “haunting,” (Kirkus Reviews) gritty, and realistic novel from the author of Beautiful, Clean, Crazy, and Over You.
When Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident while Kinsey is behind the wheel, she shuts down completely, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. She wants to be left alone during the last few weeks of high school, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend Hunter, who was also in the car that night, has a different idea.
Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t shake Camille, who has been haunting her dreams. Consumed by survivor’s guilt, sleep deprived, and on the verge of losing it, she agrees to run away with Hunter to San Francisco. As the pair tries to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions how real her perception of her friendship with Camille was, and whether her former friend’s ghost is actually now haunting her. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing.
Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.
"Straight A student, soccer star, full athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan in the fall." That's how 18-year-old Kinsey Cole lets people see her, even though she still feels broken and numb two months after a drunk truck driver hit her car, killing her best friend, Camille. When Camille's boyfriend, Hunter, approaches Kinsey with the idea of running away to San Francisco, she surprises herself by jumping at the chance to flee her small Michigan town and her combative relationship with her unpredictable mother. Kinsey's "sadistic drill sergeant" personality and Hunter's anger at his father and heavy drinking make for a lot of conflict as they cross the country, but the biggest source of tension comes from Kinsey's escalating encounters with Camille's threatening ghost, which move from the realm of nightmares into nightmarish reality. While perhaps a few too many chapters end with Kinsey falling asleep, paving the way for dream sequences, Reed (Over You) presents a thoughtful portrait of survivor's guilt and road-trip story about taking the risk of shedding one's past. Ages 14 up.