By Suzanne LaFleur, read by Becca Battoe
Published 2009 by Listening Library
Aubrey's life hasn't been the same since the accident, but she never expected it to get this bad. She is all set to start a new life on her own, until her grandmother shows up with other plans. Now Aubrey is having to adjust to a new way of living and wondering if things will ever be the same again.
So, I decided to go way back to the beginning of my TBR when I needed a new audiobook to listen to. Unsurprisingly, most of the things on my TBR were not available as downloadable audiobooks, but I persevered, planning on downloading the first one I could find that was available. This book was the winner.
Unfortunately, I feel mostly ambivalent about this one. In the beginning, it reminded me of Summer of the Gypsy Moths (which was, of course, published much later than this one) and I struggled with the believability of the first part of this story. Thankfully, that didn't last terribly long before we are pushed into the main part of the story - Aubrey living with her grandmother and adjusting to the fact that life is going to be much different from now on. However, I struggled with this part as well. I realize, of course, that grief looks different on everyone and even on the same person in different situations. But Aubrey's form of grief was particularly upsetting to me. In fact, there is so much vomiting in this book that, at times, I began to feel ill just listening to it. Perhaps that's an overly sympathetic reaction from me, but I certainly didn't enjoy that aspect of the story.
Additionally, once Aubrey is taken in by her grandmother, things seem a bit too tidy - she makes a friend quite easily, one who happens to have a little sister and loving parents (who fulfill those roles for Aubrey as well). Though she is reluctant at first to cooperate with her new school counselor, it's pretty clear that she will and that things will work out for her when she does. Much like Gypsy Moths, I appreciated that Aubrey's happy ending was perhaps not the one that would be expected. I think it worked well and I would have been disappointed in a different ending, I think.
As an audio, this worked all right, though, as I said, all the vomiting was a bit difficult to listen to (not that there was actual vomiting noises - that would have been much worse). I thought Battoe did a lovely job distinguishing between characters - I particularly loved Gram and Bridget's younger sister's (whose name escapes me at the moment) voices.
Ultimately, an interesting read that is both quite sad but also shows a great amount of growth.