In less than a second . . . . . . two of the things Cal Ryan cares most abouta promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friendsare gone forever. In the hours that follow . . . . . . Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just . . . won't . . . stop. Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception. And that might take a lifetime to accept . . .
|Publisher:||North Star Editions|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Helene Dunbar is the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS, WHAT REMAINS (Flux), BOOMERANG (Sky Pony 2018) and PRELUDE FOR LOST SOULS (Sourcebooks 2019). Over the years, she's worked as a drama critic, journalist, and marketing manager, and has written on topics as diverse as Irish music, court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter, and exists on a steady diet of readers' tears.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wanted to read this one because I liked the sound of their friendship, and the story of loss.... of one of his best friends and the sport that was such a huge part of his life are ripped from him. The promise of soul searching and figuring out his identity without what he had based so much of himself on. I did like that it started in a place before his loss, and I got to see the depth of his friendship with Lizzie and Spencer. Lizzie had a rough family life and Cal and Spencer were her rocks, the people that she could call at 2am and they would help her without a doubt. There is a complicated history between the three of them though. Spencer is gay but Lizzie has had a crush on him forever, and it comes out that they slept together. Cal likes a girl that he can't even get up the nerve to speak to, but there has been rumors flying around forever at school that he goes both ways and has been with both Lizzie and Spencer. Knowing all of that, when Cal got his heart transplant and Lizzie passed away, that is when Cal started blaming himself for her death as well as being completely lost about who he is with one leg of their friendship gone, and him unable to play baseball anymore. The plus side is that he gets to see his workaholic parents more right after, but the downside is they all of the sudden try to be involved. There are a few twists, one that I somehow didn't see coming, even when Cal started hearing Lizzie after she passed. I have read some stuff on cellular memory so I don't know why that didn't tip me off to the secret that his parents and the doctors kept from him. He has this huge amount of guilt and anger and that comes out against the ones closest to him. He still has Spencer, but they are both a little lost in their minds, and Cal doesn't take the time to really consider how Spencer could be feeling about Lizzie. They both feel like they didn't protect her enough, even after all of their promises to keep her safe. Cal had a hard things butt he finally went to see a therapist and that was finally a catalyst in talking out all of the things in his head. From over coming his fear I'd driving, to the confusion between him and Spencer. There was a sweet romance and I was glad that was thrown in and Cal got to have that piece of happiness in the midst of his grief. I like where it ended with Cal.... a new relationship and a way to handle the bad that happened. A way to make piece and still remember Lizzie. A hope that though his life changed so much that he could still follow different dreams but be true to himself. Bottom Line: Emotional story of friendship and finding yourself after loss.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux and NetGalley.) “Everything changes,” I whisper into her hair which smells a little like paint thinner. “It won’t always be this hard.” This was an interesting YA contemporary story about a boy who loses his best friend. I felt quite sorry for Cal in this story; it was easy to see why he felt guilty over Lizzie’s death, even if it wasn’t really his fault, and to then find out what he found out was even harder for him. “It’s my fault. I was driving. I should have been able to save her.” The storyline in this revolved around Cal coming to terms with Lizzie’s death, and trying to work out where his own life was going to go after having to have a transplant and not being able to play baseball anymore. There was some romance, and I thought that Cal and Ally were really cute together. “We’ve talked a lot. Just not with words.” The ending to this was fairly happy, and Cal seemed to be in a good place. 6.5 out of 10
It's official. Helene Dunbar's books have become my go-to reads if I ever want to read something extraordinarily touching, heart-breaking and inspiring. Just like with the first book I read of her, These Gentle Wounds, What Remains came into my life to beautifully ruin my happy state of mind. It's been several days since I finished this book and I still cannot recover from it. There's no point of me explaining the book's plot since the summary does a good job of it, but I will tell you that even though I was "prepared" for Lizzie's death, it still affected me immensely. This surprised me since we don't get much time to for us to get attached to her character, yet I did. I felt for this character. Maybe because you can tell how much Cal and Spencer cared for her, how much they loved her, and maybe also because Lizzie was a broken and honestly brutal character that you wish had a better chance in life. Lizzie, Cal, and Spencer are the big stars of this book. I loved how unique and amazing they all were, and it pained me to see them suffer. Especially Cal, whose point of view is the one we get to read about. Cal's life changes dramatically after Lizzie's death and the emotional journey of recovering and accepting life as it is was no easy thing to read. I like to read authors acknowledgements because they sometimes give you an extra insight to the author's mind about their motivation to write this book, and I liked the small part where she sums up perfectly what this book is about. Helene Dunbar states that What Remains is ultimately a love story of friendship, and I 100% agree with that. There is a little bit of romance somewhere inside the book, but it's not as important as the relationship between these three friends, and I loved that. "But I guess what remains after someone you love dies aren't things you can reach out and touch. When you love someone, that love changes you for better or worse. So in a way, maybe they're never truly gone." This was my favorite quote from the book. It made me break into an embarrassing display of tears because it broke me and fixed me at the same time. So beautiful. Just like the whole book. The bottom line is: You HAVE to read What Remains. You won't regret it.