Author: Carmen Rodrigues
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....
Review: I really enjoyed this book! So as everyone knows I was a huge fan of Thirteen Reasons Why, so when it said reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why in the description I knew it was a book I'd have to read! I really liked how this book would switch between Sarah, Jake & Jess's points of view and share each of their stories about Before and After Ellie died. I also loved how when one of their stories intersected with anothers they'd continue it in the other persons POV when the other ones finished. We got to see certain situations from multiple perspectives and I really liked that, especially since some of them were about secrets about that other person. I also liked that with each different person we got to see different sides of Ellie when she was with those people and what she would tell each of them and hide from the others. It really showed you just how much she was hiding from those different people in her life.
I wanna start with Jess. She really wasn't that close to Ellie at first. Everything changed though the night that Lola made fun of Jess for being 15 but never having been kissed. Because that night after Lola left, Ellie kissed Jess and things were never the same again. After that Jess began to question her sexuality. She saw Ellie a lot more, and they had this secret relationship no one else knew about. Jess and Ellie kept this secret until Ellie's death. Nobody really understood how much Jess was hurting after Ellie's death because of that secret. So Jess grieved when no one else was around to know. Ellie opened up something inside of Jess, that even Jess herself had never known was there, and she wont ever soon forget how Ellie changed her life with that. It also hit Jess hard because not soon before Ellie died, she found out about Ellie experimenting with the pills and even cutting herself, but Jess couldn't get through to her and Ellie wouldn't really open up about why she was doing that.
Jake. Man I felt so bad for him. Ellie is his sister. He felt like it was his fault that she died. She had called him upset the night before wanting him to come home right away because she needed him, but he blew that off until the next day. So by the time he finally got home Ellie had already overdosed. He felt like if he would have come home sooner like he promised he would that she might not have done it then. He was living with that guilt. And then on top of that, Sarah had tried to overdose with Ellie and he had a hard time with that because he wanted to help her, he wanted to be there for her but he didnt know how because he's been hiding for the longest time that he's in love with her. And he doesnt know how to deal with those feelings and help her at the same time. It's also hard for him to help with her grief over Ellie's death when he's still struggling with his own grief over it. I was glad he really started seeing her and trying to just be there for her in the end, when she really needed it.
Sarah. Out of everybody in the group it affected her the hardest. She was Ellie's best friend. I mean come on, they even tried to overdose together. They were really close. They always spent time together, and they had secrets between each other that no one else knew as well. And Sarah could tell there was something wrong because of the way Ellie was acting. She said it right out that Ellie was like two different people. But she never told anyone, never tried to do anything to help her and didn't exactly try to pressure Ellie into telling her what her problems were either. So when Ellie died it hit Sarah the hardest. She didn't know what to do without her, who to talk to, and how to deal with all the pain of losing her best friend. She also didn't know how to deal with the feelings she thought weren't returned from Jake. She had so much she was trying to deal with and it was too much for her. It was so hard seeing the difference in her Before and After she died. I felt even worse for her when she tried to take her life again by cutting herself because she couldn't deal with everything. I was so thankful that Jake found her and made sure she got to the hospital after that, and that he tried much harder to be there for her after that. I'm also glad that with the help of Jake, and the place she was sent to after that, she really got the help she needed and seemed to be dealing with her issues better.
This book really showed just what the death of someone can do to the people around them and how some people hide secrets no one knows about until it's too late. This was a fantastic read!
4 1/2 Stars!