pub date: October 11, 2011
publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
appeals: contemporary, cancer, family, romance, hockey
source: for review at Kiss the Book
content: some swearing, Rose has slept with her boyfriend in the past, but there isn't much described, just some references and talk about sex
When I began this book I expected a suffering protagonist, a father struggling with the loss of his wife, a boyfriend who just didn't understand, and a new boy who would help the protag cope.
What I got was a suffering protagonist, a father struggling with the loss of his wife, a boyfriend who tried to understand but the protag was just too damaged to keep the relationship alive, and a new boy who helped the protag cope.
So, yeah, pretty much what I expected. Doesn't there seem to be a lot of this kind of story out right now?
And yet...I got sucked in anyway. It was a well told story, with a few surprises, and I was really interested in Rose's journey to finding hope after the death of her mother. So sure, it was predictable, but still good.
I was really annoyed with the dad. I didn't enjoy him so much. I guess it was because it just seemed so...obvious. Couldn't he grieve in a more original way? But I was supposed to be annoyed with him, so I guess he did his job in the story.
When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.
As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?