Title: Resurrection Girls
Author: Ava Morgyn
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism,
Broken people love in broken ways.
Olivia stopped living the day her brother died. Three years ago, Robby toddled into the backyard pool and drowned on her watch, taking the best parts of their mother and father with him. Now sixteen, Olivia can no longer remember what it feels like to really be alive, until a family of strange women move in across the street.
Nothing about the Hallas women is normal, and Kara, the daughter who is Olivia's age, has a morbid fascination—writing letters to convicted killers and criminals for murderabilia, tokens of infamy that promise to fetch a collector's price online. But Olivia's family has secrets of their own. Her mother's prescription drug addiction is only getting worse, and stealing her mother's pills has become an all too easy way for Olivia to cope herself.
Overwhelmed by Kara's magnetic presence, Olivia quickly finds herself not only accepting her friend's unusual pastime, but helping her do it. Together, the girls begin writing under a collective pseudonym: The Resurrection Girls.
Empowered by this new role, Olivia rekindles her relationship with her best friend and crush from down the street, Prescott Peters. Like Olivia, Prescott is enamored with Kara and becomes a welcome third wheel, but a growing affection on all sides creates a triangle of feelings that threatens both new connections and old bonds. The deeper Kara draws Olivia into the impulsive and seductive web of her world, the more Olivia finds herself confronting the unraveling of her family's connection to the land of the living.
Trigger Warnings: Child loss (drowning), depression + grief, drug use + addiction and overdose, language, light sexual content, the discussion of violent crimes and missing children.
This is a powerful book that is poignant, brings tears to the eyes and tells a tale that will reach a younger reader, all at the same time.
Already this author has been commended by others for the accurate portrayal of grief. I want to add something more to this.
The author does more than portray grief. Grief is portrayed in the complicated way that grief is. There is no one way a person is to grieve, and no person grieves the same way. Some choose to ignore the pain, some try to drown it in alcohol or cloud it with drugs. Some choose to try to believe it never happened. And for fun, those are but a few of the ways people try to deal. More fun is people are allowed to mix and match and do as many as there are minutes in a day.
The portrayal of the family dealing with Robby's death was heart wrenching, painful, difficult to read at times, shocking, even offensive, but throughout simply honest.
Along with this important message is a story of teen angst, growth and relationship ennui not seen since Joey climbed out of Dawson's room because Jen just moved in next door. There were times I thought this book reminded me of Dawson's Creek, then of Charmed. Finally, I believe this book's teen story line is Dawson's Creek meets Charmed with Charmed having evil witches.
The book is a hard read but a very rewarding one. I can recommend it to anyone who has ever dealt with grief or knows someone who has been impacted by grief. Top it off it is also good for people who like the complications of teen romance.
My Rating: 5 stars
Buy it Now:
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130797582?ean=9780807569429
Ava Morgyn is a long-time avid reader and writer of young adult fiction. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and now lives in Houston—city with the most rain, best food, and worst traffic—with her family. When she isn’t at her laptop spinning darkly hypnotic tales, she can be found making fairy houses, talking to her crystals and plants, hunting for delicious new vegan recipes, or bothering her dog. She also blogs regularly about the devastating journey of child loss at ForLoveofEvelyn.com.
Her novel, Resurrection Girls (Albert Whitman), releases fall 2019.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N