Friday, September 10, 2010

You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz

Annaleah loves Brian.  He's the one....the one that makes her feel weak in the knees.  The one whose kisses she craves and whose arms feels best around her.  Annaleah would do anything for him.  She forgives him when he doesn't return phone calls.  And forgives him again when he says he'll show up but doesn't.  And she'll forgive him again when he says he'll meet her friends, but he doesn't...

And then the most terrible thing in the world happens.  Brian dies...and Annaleah goes into a tailspin.  She has her friends Marissa, Parker and Joy who want to help, but she pushes them away.  She has her mother, but doesn't want to tell her anything.  She's fallen into a depression that wraps its arms around her and kisses her, promising to stay with her if she's faithful.  And she is.  Annaleah goes to Brian's grave, lays down beside him and tells him everything. 

Slowly life changes.  Her friends move on, her mother continues to work, and Annaleah is left alone with the Dearly Departed and Brian.  But it takes someone and something to alter her life and see it for what it truly is.  But can Annaleah resist the urge to isolate herself or fall headlong into the only comfort zone she knows?

Schutz has written a beautiful novel in verse about how one teen deals with depression on her own terms and slowly realizes the world she's created.  Readers will know from the onset the persona of Brian and feel for Annaleah, while also trying to help her friends get her to know the truth.  This is a fast read of a great story about love, loss and healing, with perfect characterization that will take the reader to the ending.  A perfect pairing for those who enjoy novels from Lisa Schroeder.   Recommended.

1 comment:

Samantha Schutz said...

Wow! Thank you so much for your review. It's a pleasure to read a review written by someone who really "gets" it.

Check my blog for some new posts about my writing process and some other stuff too. And be sure to check back in Oct for news about a photo contest.


PS: The correct cover can also be seen on my blog.