Summary (from Goodreads):
“Sometimes bad things happen, and we are not the same when they are over.
For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she’s okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful façade she’s built around herself:
Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.
Hannah Barnaby’s deeply moving novel asks questions there are no easy answers to as it follows a family struggling to pick up the pieces, and a girl determined to find the brother she wasn’t ready to let go of.”
You know how sometimes you just know a book will break your heart? That’s this one. It’s a grieving book, and the reader can actually see Tallie falling apart. It happens slowly at first, and then all of a sudden, she’s completely in pieces. It’s devastating to read, and impossible not to ache for her.
And I completely understood her quest to find the people who received her brother’s organs. While obviously it’s not really the same thing as having him still alive, it’s also proof that he’s not completely gone.
Recommended, but be aware that it’s going to hurt to read it. (But it’s worth it.)