Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Aspen by Rebekah Crane

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, August 25, 2014
Title: Aspen
Author: Rebekah Crane
My Rating: ★★★★★
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication: June 5th 2014 by In This Together Media
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads
One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn't want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard-- because Katelyn may have died -- but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels. 

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control ... and doesn't want to. 

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next.

My Review:

I love this book! I love this book so much that I bought a copy of it. I wanted to have Aspen on my bookshelf so badly, and wasn't able to resist the urge to purchase it. 

At first I thought this was going to be the usual sweet book that you read for fun, like most contemporaries, but it turned out to be meaningful and much deeper than I expected. I don't want to give away too much, so I'll keep this short: the narrator is Aspen, a teenage girl, who gets involved in a car accident. Fortunately, she survives with minor injures, but Katelyn doesn't; the most popular girl in school is dead, and Aspen has to live with all the guilt.

Aspen is a very honest girl, but she is hiding something from everyone and even from herself. I like the fact that she is just like most teenage girls who hate their own hair and have their own issues. She has flaws and that made her real and someone I could easily relate to. I truly loved Aspen; she is quirky and has a great sense of humor. Reading about her struggles, as she tries to deal with everything after the accident, was a very emotional experience for me.

Another character I really enjoyed is Ninny, Aspen's mom. Ninny is a free being who doesn't want to fit into society's expectations. I think she is a very cool person, but she isn't doing a wonderful job as a mom; she's not the responsible type, and most of the time it's Aspen playing the role of "the mom" and Ninny being the irresponsible teenager. Even though they have this unusual kind of relationship, I like that Aspen accepts her mom for what she is. And I think it's fun to have a mom like Ninny once in a while, because unlike most parents, she doesn't pressure you into doing anything.

I've grown to care for everyone in this book, and that's the best part of Aspen; it succeeds in drawing you in with the characters and their lives. Aspen is truly a brilliant narrator, even though she's going through lots of heavy stuff and the guilt is almost eating her alive, she doesn't cease to smile and have fun.

I think this book is realistic. It's very touching, and it made me cry, but I loved that it's beautifully balanced with lots of humor.

When I requested Aspen on NetGalley, I didn't expect it to have a great impact on me, and when my copy arrives I think I'm going to read it again. I highly recommend it!

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