The start of me and you by Emery Lord
Bloomsbury 2017. ISBN 9781408888377
(Age: 12+) Recommended. A new year, a new plan, a new start. Grief is hard, no matter what, but it can be more complex when you're grieving for someone you hardly knew. Paige's first boyfriend died in a swimming accident leaving her to deal with her newfound reputation as 'the girl whose boyfriend drowned'. With a new school year Paige is determined to pull herself free of her grief and embrace teenage life. She decides that this year she will date her long-time crush, apply for a screenwriting course in New York, join a club, and overcome her fear of swimming. It can't be that difficult, right? With the support of her three best friends, Paige leaps back into high school life, underestimating all the challenges she will face throughout the year as new friendships form and old ones evolve. Nothing could be worse than losing Aaron again. Nothing. Not now that her parents are being civil again after the tumultuous divorce. Paige will discover that her goals are more of a challenge than she first thought, particularly with her growing friendship with Ryan Chase's nerdy cousin.
Moving, funny, and intelligent, I would highly recommend The Start of Me and You for girls twelve and up. This coming of age story deals with ideas surrounding grief and relationships as well as presenting messages about being true to yourself and open to trying new things, despite the stigma (Paige joining Quizbowl). Paige faces her fears throughout the novel, learning that what is right and what is wrong is not always as simple as we would sometimes like to think.
Kayla Gaskell, 21