Sometimes Life Sucks: When someone you love dies by Molly Carlile

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Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN: 978 17742371887.
(Ages 12-16) Like adults, a teenager's reaction of grief when someone close to them has died can often be diverse. Sometime's Life Sucks is not a novel but a series of short stories about different situations where a teenager might have experienced the death of someone they love. These stories a supported by tips and advice from the books author who has drawn upon her experience as a palliative care nurse and counsellor. The different experiences of grief and death included in the book include: supporting a friend who is grieving, attending funeral and experiencing the death of a famous idol, just to list a few. The contents page at the beginning of the book would encourage young readers to use the book to reference the type of grief that they themselves are experiencing. Each story has useful websites, quotes from other children and a familiar story for each scenario to comfort readers in knowing that they are not alone in their grief as others have experienced such grief and life goes on. Justifiably the stories in this book are not light and can be graphic, most notably the description of death, but there are many examples of the celebration of life not just grieving death. Sometimes Life Sucks should be recommended to school counsellors and sensitively recommended to teenagers who have experienced grief in their lives.
Adam Fitzgerald