School Library Journal is a highly respected and renowned publication that helps pair the books reviewers love with the librarians at our national (and international) schools. Getting a positive review from them? It means a lot. A LOT a lot. So this one thrilled me when my buddy, author Dahlia Adler, pointed out that it was up on the Barnes and Noble site.
Gr 9 Up—This present-day realistic fiction novel opens with Cecelia (better known as CeCe) getting arrested for killing her brother Cyrus. As the story unfolds, Cyrus’s story of escalating OxyContin abuse and the damage it does to his family in the wake of his mother’s death unravels, leaving CeCe to pick up the pieces and trying to hold her family and collegiate aspirations together. After her arrest, CeCe is reluctant to open up to her lawyer and counselor, instead content to dwell in her guilt. A group therapy session outing finally has an effect on CeCe, and she begins to open up, but will it be too late to make a case in her favor? Fiore weaves an incredibly authentic tale of the drama and emotion that surround death and drug abuse. The chapters move back and forth from before CeCe’s brother’s death to after the girl’s arrest. The author provides context early on in each chapter to help readers situate themselves within the time line. This structure allows for information to be given to readers in an extremely methodical and effective manner, continuously moving the story forward. CeCe, her brother, and her father are dynamic characters, filled with flaws and hope. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes heart-rending, and sometimes hopeful, Fiore’s work is great for fans of “unpretty” realistic fiction. VERDICT A must-have for high school and public libraries, especially where discussions about the prevalence and dangers of prescription medicine abuse are needed.—Stephanie DeVincentis, Downers Grove North High School, IL
I’m particularly fond of:
Fiore weaves an incredibly authentic tale of the drama and emotion that surround death and drug abuse.
A must-have for high school and public libraries.
But in general, this entire review is such a joy to read. I’m honored to share it with you today.