If you could choose one - and only one - person to reanimate (bring back from the dead), who would it be? Would you choose anyone at all, or would you forfeit your right to choose?
THIS IS NOT THE END is a beautiful book about a girl's fraught relationship with her older brother, paralyzed from the neck down after an accident a few years ago, which has turned him bitter, cold, and downright mean. It's also about the life-changing car accident that happens just before her 18th birthday, which kills her boyfriend and her best friend, and the grieving process she goes through. It's also about how she meets a new boy and his motley group of friends as she's trying to figure out how to move on with her life. And, of course, it's *also* about that tricky question I asked first: she can choose ONE person to bring back from the dead on her 18th birthday, or lose the chance forever; who will it be??
When you put it that way ... well, it sounds like a bunch of disparate elements that must leave a mess of a plot, right? Wrong! This is the first book I've read by Ms. Baker, but she blew me away with how she handled all these elements and wove them into a cohesive, heart-wrenching, and utterly gorgeous work of fiction. I cant believe I haven't already reviewed this book, because I loved it so very much. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves gorgeous writing; books that make you think about questions of morality, family, mortality, and the difficult process of growing up and becoming your own person; and contemporary YA generally. This book has a hint of science fiction - I mean, that whole "reanimation" thing isn't a reality quite yet - but don't let that scare you away if you're not usually a sci-fi reader; I promise, it's really just a hint, even though it's integral to the story and is the source of much of the MC's anguish.
I would love to put this book in the hands of every reader I know! I hope you'll give it a chance, too. It's one of those books you don't realize you need in your life until you've read It, and then you say, "*that's* what I've been missing!" It stunned me and left me reeling, yet feeling wiser and more complete. I cant wait to see what Chandler Baker gives us next. This is an easy 5 stars!