Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...
This is one of those books that didn't quite "click" with me.
The narrative and characterisation is flawless -Lennie and her sister are both loveable bookworms, and the Lennie's 'voice' is light-hearted and absolutely adorable. Every character is someone you'd like to meet, from Lennie's gardener-extraordinaire Gran and pothead lothario Uncle Big, to Lennie's best friend Sarah and Joe, the constantly-grinning new boy in her music class.
But the plot just didn't work for me. Lennie's relationship with Toby didn't feel romantic. As much as I wanted to believe it was grief behind Lennie's relationship with her dead sister's ex, a lot of her reasoning behind it was that she felt 'drawn to him'.
Grief can make you irrational, and it makes you want to be around people who understand what you're going through. But after this has happened a few times it's more of a matter of Lennie being unable to keep her lust in check, and my sympathy wore off. The story still managed to be amusing and upsetting in turns, but I felt 'disconnected' to Lennie and spent most of the story waiting for her to do the sane thing and choose Joe.
The edition I had was gorgeous - it was advertised as a hardcover on Amazon, but it was a softcover with a textured cover and lovely full-colour images of Lennie's poems throughout. (Ringo the Cat has some pictures of this edition.) I haven't seen as unique and detailed an edition of a book before, so if you decide to pick this up, that's the version to buy.