They Both Die at the End meets The Bell Jar in this haunting, beautiful young adult novel-in-verse about clinical depression and healing from trauma, from National Book Award Finalist Amber McBride.
Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of clinical depression. When she meets a boy named Faerry, she recognizes they both have magic in the marrow of their bones. And when Faerry and his family move to the same street, the two start to realize that their lifelines may have twined and untwined many times before.
They are both terrified of the forest at the end of Marsh Creek Lane.
The Forest whispers to Whimsy. The Forest might hold the answers to the part of Faerry he feels is missing. They discover the Forest holds monsters, fairy tales, and pain that they have both been running from for 11 years.
McBride, the author of Me (Moth), employs lilting poetic wordplay to weave familiar fairy tales with original, resonant fables in this haunting verse novel. When human poet Whimsy is hospitalized with clinical depression, she meets and immediately connects with a Fae boy named Faerry. After getting discharged, she learns that Faerry has just moved into a house on Whimsy's street and soon realizes their intense familiarity hints at a shared past that neither of them seems to remember. Working together to unearth buried memories, the teens battle a fantastical physical embodiment of sorrow and struggle to face their inexplicable fear of the forest at the end of their street. Sparse yet expressive verse ("We are floating in a circle/ made from hope & crystal wings") grounds mystical happenings, such as Whimsy and Faerry's meetings with characters from classic fairy tales and folklore, including Anansi, Baba Yaga, and Snow White. Drawing from personal experience, as detailed in a beginning note, McBride delivers a dark, whimsical adventure that viscerally depicts experiences of clinical depression, generational trauma, racism, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and survivor's guilt. A glossary of the fairy tales referenced concludes. Whimsy and Faerry are Black. Ages 14–17. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency.