Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Wherever You Go by Heather Davis



Description from Goodreads.com
Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend?



As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?


Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob,Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.
If you enjoyed Gayle Forman's If I stay I recommend this book to you.
Holly is a hard worker, she gives all of her spare time giving to her family. In her poor household, she has the role of mother, caretaker, sister and daughter. Her mother is a very scarce character, she pops in randomly throughout the book. It seems that her mother is only available to ask Holly to do more things and take more upon herself emotionally and criticize her for the way she is currently doing things. I personally think that Holly would have had a more normal life if she had taken on a night job instead of having to play the roll of mother and caretaker. To add to the toll of her home situation, her boyfriend had just died 6 months ago in a car accident. They were both in the vehicle and luckily she survived, but Roberto died in the crash. She is still trying to get over his death and take care of her sister when her mother adds more pressure by one day springing it on her that grandfather who has Alzheimers is coming to live with them. Her mother has 2 jobs, she is cranky and never around and continually states how much Holly is needed to run everything adding to the pressure and stress. Holly never gets a break.
One day Roberto's best friend Jason takes an interest in Holly. Although it is very confusing on why exactly as Holly is very introverted and depressed. I kept wondering what the attraction was but as he was Roberto's best friend, maybe the only attraction he had to her was her past relationship with Roberto. They were both close to him and still have a lot of questions about how and why he died. Jason also comes from a rich family and all of his friends also question his attraction to Holly as she does not fit into their lifestyle.
Throughout the whole story each chapter contains rotating point of views so if your not paying attention and it shifts to another character you can get caught of guard, it took me a second or two to realize who's head I was in.
Roberto, who is a ghost now, he does not know why exactly he is still trapped on Earth watching the people from  his life carry on without him. When the grandfather, Aldo is brought into the house, he is able to see and talk to Roberto. During the sections where we are in Roberto's head he not only follows around Jason and Holly as they begin to bond, and he talks to Holly's grandfather Aldo. We also get to follow him to his own home and see how his death has taken a toll on his own family.
Overall I found the story very saddening. I did feel for Holly and think she's a stronger girl than me. I would have broken down and had a fit with all the stress she had on her shoulders. I liked Aldo the best because he added great humor and liveliness to the story. Without him I am not sure I would have gotten through the book. He made it all worthwhile for me. And while I had a love-hate relationship with the rest of the characters I think that this book really gets you thinking about duty and love, family and friends.
I suppose that this time of year is the best time to read this type of story. During the Thanksgiving and winter holidays we are surrounded by loved ones and giving to others. Holly is a great representative of pure selflessness and Jason represents help in a time of need and companionship. Something every body needs reminding of every once in awhile.

Other books regarding death and loss
The Beginning of After by Heather Davis
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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