I Was Here meets Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls in this story of seven friends, five years of silence, and the one mystery that will bring them back together again.
It's been five years since Marley Bricket died by accidental gunshot. On the night of the annual memorial, Olivia Stanton, the only witness to Marley's death, gets an unexpected visitor in the form of Nick Cline. He's the boy who pulled the trigger on what he didn't know was a loaded gun. Since then, nothing in the quiet desert town of Cadence, California has ever been the same.
Nick's surprise reappearance puts all the Kids of Albany Lane in one place for the first time since Marley died. The once-inseparable group of neighborhood friends, formerly led by Marley herself, has disbanded. But when Olivia discovers a scavenger hunt orchestrated by Marley before she died, the group must come together again to complete it, reopening old wounds and unearthing new questions about what really happened. Most importantly, did Marley know the gun was loaded?
"A thrilling, adventure-filled story that captures the anguish of losing a friend."Kirkus
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 18 Years|
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YA is my sweet spot with reading. It always has been and even now as I'm no longer a young adult it is still what I gravitate to the most. That being said, recently, I haven't been reading as much YA as I usually do. So, maybe that is why the beginning of this book was a slow start for me. It took me a while to get into it and get a grasp of what it was leading up to. In a way, I felt like I was supposed to already know these characters -- that I had happened upon the middle of the story for these kids. And I suppose I did. It was the most frustrating part of the book-- the feeling that I should know more about the kids than I did and trying to fit it all together with the now, but in the end, none of that mattered. It didn't take long to get a feel for the characters...and then to want more of them. I got sucked into this story and where it was going. At some point or another, to me, each character was unlikable. But I loved them all the same and wanted to wrap them all up and help them heal. I honestly want more of the characters. I want to know more and follow them after this. I want to see where they go and what they do without the weight of Marley. There was a lot of diverse characters in the book and by the nature of the story they weren't all as fleshed out and complex as they could be given their stories. I could be content with a book for each of them! So, for me, that is a testament to Morrissey's writing. It kept me engaged and wanting more. Hopefully, we see more of her books in the future! This was a solid 4 star read for me. So far it is one of my favorites of the year! 4/5: ★★★★☆
"Somebody somewhere decided that every five years, tragedies must be made extra important again." And with that simple opening line, Bridget Morrissey sends you on a journey with the kids of Albany Lane, trying to figure out what really happened to Marley and their friendship, and discovering along the way what it really means to grow up. I loved the neighborhood kids reuniting and reliving their childhood as teenagers, and how the freedom and carefree nature of childhood is filtered through the lens of tragedy. Those formative relationships are so important and stick with you long after they end, and these friends shared such a profound loss at such a young age. I felt like I was there with all of them, solving the puzzle, finding the clues, discovering what sort of fun Marley had set up. This book made me cry, laugh, and smile with joy. A must read for summer 2019 - everyone needs a copy.
‘Everything is something.’ Marley was the oldest of eight neighbourhood friends, known as the Albany kids, and the mastermind behind their summer Adventures. Aidy, Teeny, Bigs, Harrison, Ruby, Nick and Olivia would join Marley, riding their bicycles around Cadence, California, enjoying the camaraderie and excitement of their scavenger hunts, never once reaching the end, always “in pursuit of a goal Marley never fully explained.” Then Nick accidentally shot Marley. He and Olivia are the only ones who really know what happened that day. Five years have passed and Olivia is now older than Marley was when she died. The seven remaining Albany kids have all reunited for the first time since Marley died for one final Adventure. “Trust me. The Adventure is going to have a different purpose this year.” The story unfolds through mostly alternating chapters, some focusing on the lead up to Marley’s death and the others beginning the morning of the fifth annual memorial held at the City Hall. This provides a picture of the effect this tragedy has had on the individual Albany kids, their group dynamics, some of their family members, and the town of Cadence as a whole. ‘No one in Cadence wanted to remember what Marley’s death actually did to the living.’ Marley was a complex character and I was never entirely sure if I liked her or not. I loved that she wasn’t portrayed in an entirely positive or negative way. I liked Olivia’s tenacity but at times her dramatic way of seeing everything irked me, although I understood the reasons behind it. I adored Nick, who was 11 when he accidentally shot Marley, and has had to essentially live with his pain alone, even though it wasn’t his fault. I enjoyed getting to know so many multifaceted characters, many of whom were keeping secrets, from others and sometimes themselves as well. I hear a lot about gun violence but I consider myself very lucky that I can’t personally comment on its effects on the minds and lives of the adults and children who are left to try to pick up the pieces of their forever changed lives. If there’s one thing recent news items have shown it’s that we are currently failing survivors of this type of violence. It’s painful to read about but books like this are so important for young adults and the young at heart. Just some of my takeaways from this book are: • We need to be sensitive to the different ways people grieve • We can be haunted in so many ways • The meanings we attribute to our memories and experiences can alter our perceptions • People may be wearing social masks to pretend they’re okay when they’re really not at all. Don’t be afraid to look beneath the surface. “Let’s make it so that we never again have to ask ourselves, How did this happen?” Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., for the opportunity to read this book. I’m rounding up from 4.5 stars. Content warnings are included in my Goodreads review.
This incredibly sad book focuses on a group of childhood friends who lose one of their members to a terrible accident. On the five year anniversary of Marley’s death the friends, now teens and young adults, get together at her memorial. While the story flashes back to what happened the day of the accident the focus is on how these kids have dealt with the trauma. Some of them seem fairly unscathed by the incident while others were scarred and never recovered. Through it all their friendship remained strong or in one case is rekindled at the memorial. The bonds of friendship are a huge theme along with the nature of memory and how it is shaped by grief. The vast majority of the book occurs inside one character’s head, Olivia. This plays out as a ton of amateur psychoanalyzing of themselves and each other. There is the activity of a scavenger hunt but for the most part it’s a very “internal” story. It is a deep dive into these kid’s minds, especially Olivia’s. It’s not an easy read or a particularly pleasant one but I think it would be helpful for anyone dealing with a similar loss and trying to overcome their grief. It’s a melancholy story but one that ends with a bit of hope. Even those who were incredibly damaged by the accident and losing their friend find the strength to move on and let go of the past to some extent. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel of loss. You just have to be willing to rearrange the furniture. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.