Alex blames himself for his best friend's death, and Kevin's parents do, too. Trying to cope on his own isn't working, so the teen finds himself unwillingly at camp for counseling and a chance to save his own life. He didn't expect to find love, too.
They were a mismatched pair - athletic Alex and artistic nerd Kevin - but everyone knew they were best buddies for life. No one was too surprised when they skipped school one beautiful October day to race their motorcycles around Stillwater, Oklahoma; everyone was horrified when Kevin died in a wreck. His father screamed at Alex in the hospital about losing his son...and now Alex is alone, adrift.
Kevin's death affects him so strongly that Alex can't function at school, gets kicked off the varsity football team for skipping practice so much, contemplates ending it all just to stop the numbness.
Realizing that time isn't muting Alex's pain, his parents send him to a camp that's noted for its counseling staff, and he has a chance to be away from the neighborhood he shared so long with Kevin.
His cabinmates have their own issues to work through, but they're not terrible guys like the visitor who tries to kidnap his ex-girlfriend on the first day Alex is at camp! Saving Rachel seems to be the beginning of saving himself, since she still talks to him (and flirts with him) after she knows what happened to Kevin.
Little by little, the sweet Texas girl with her own secrets helps Alex begin to forgive himself for Kevin's accident. Their time together even lets Rachel share what brought her to camp, her own near-death experience. End of summer, end of camp, end of Alex's darkest days - thanks to Rachel's support and affection.
What's the mysterious connection between them that woke Alex from sleep to save her again?
Can they keep up a long-distance relationship?
Can Alex keep his new emotional equilibrium when he's back in Stillwater for senior year - without Kevin by his side?
This debut novel examines love and forgiveness, connection and hope, adding a paranormal, medical twist to the tale.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.com