Phantom Limbs

Phantom Limbs

by Paula Garner


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Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

How do you move on from an irreplaceable loss? In a poignant debut, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief—or be swept away by it.

Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763698003
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 370,114
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Paula Garner lives in Chicago with her family and their psychotic cat. Phantom Limbs is her first novel.

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Phantom Limbs 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
A gorgeous, heartbreaking tale of first love, first loss, and the kind of complicated friendships that both sustain you and deplete you. The writing was simple and poignant, and the phantom limb metaphor at the center of the story never felt heavy-handed or overwrought. One of those standout contemporary YA novels that I fully expect to refer to and recommend again and again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh, this is a completely lovely book! The characters are so complex and layered, the writing is stunning, and the story is both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. It's the story of families and individuals learning to go on after terrible tragedy, but it's never dark or overwhelming. Otis is the most darling main characters ever, and all the people around him are completely fascinating. His friendship with Dara is one of the most complicated and beautiful and frustrating friendships I've read anywhere--not just in YA, not just in contemporary YA, not just in m/f friendships. ANYWHERE. It's that good. I am so jealous of how well the author captures those difficult, fraught, often painful, often rewarding relationships damaged, hurting people have with each other. I will read anything Paula Garner writes in the future. Then I will cry, and read it again, and curse her name to the skies, and cry some more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
there are not enough words to describe the rollercoaster this book has taken me on. everything was SO realistic and some parts were SO relatable as a teen growing up in today's society. Otis and Meg's love story has given me emotions that I will quite possibly never overcome
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
"You love someone and they leave, but they never entirely go away. You feel them there, acutely, like an amputated limb." Phantom Limbs is a standalone, YA realistic fiction novel written by Paula Garner. This is her debut novel and it is, in one word, palpable. I could feel the life-changing loss, regret, confusion, loneliness, tentativeness, empathy, love, humor (I could go on) flowing through these characters. I found Ms. Garner's writing to be incredibly realistic and I thought she excelled at showing the reach of grief and the different ways it manifests itself in those it touches. I am both slowly and quickly falling out of love with the young-adult genre so there was a part of me that just didn't connect with this story on a five-star level but that is not to say that Phantom Limbs is not five-star worthy. Check it out! My favorite quote: “When she took a bite of pie, she moaned and her eyes rolled back, just like the TV chef with the cleavage. Why were women so sexy with eating? Jesus! What if I never developed bedroom skills that could compete with food? What if I actually got to have sex with Meg one day and she just lay back, bored, daydreaming about pulled pork sandwiches and chocolate eclairs?”