A memorable portrait of first love, surviving grief, and the messy contradictions and fierce bonds that hold friends and family together
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Powerful and tragic, revealing a wonderful and realistically flawed family working hard to fix its deep damage. Marchetta masterfully demonstrates the depth of emotion—and love—the characters feel, sometimes in small but moving moments
—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
Tom’s confusion and regret at dealing with a burgeoning adulthood that’s a pale, twisted shadow of his hopes are depicted with respect and realism, and the slowly unfolding picture of his past adds understanding without entirely getting him off the hook for his own misdeeds.
—Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books
Marchetta uses smart dialogue, email messages, and a bit of humor to slowly draw readers into the complicated social dynamics. It’s a joy to watch Tom reconnect with his friends, his music, his family, and Tara, the girl whose heart he broke
—School Library Journal
The family dynamics are realistic, and the sincerity of the ache and joy of the characters as they come together will draw older teens to them rather than just the fictional plot.