Eddie Reeves is 17 and her father, Seth, a once-famous photographer who chose to walk away from his fame, has just committed suicide by jumping from the roof of an abandoned warehouse in their small town. Eddie’s mom, Robyn, isn’t dealing with it at all and hasn’t gotten out of her father’s housecoat since the funeral. Robyn’s best friend, Beth, has moved in to try to help out, but focuses on Robyn, not seeing that all of Eddie’s rebellion, anger and acting out is a result of not knowing why her seemingly happy father killed himself.
Enter Eddie’s best friend since grade school, Milo. Milo found Eddie, who found her father dead. This has put an awkward silence between the two that never existed before. To make things worse, Milo’s old girlfriend is back in town and while Eddie isn’t jealous, she is more alone. She sneaks out of her home by jumping off the roof and visits the abandoned building at night. On a visit during the day she meets Culler Evans, a photography student Eddie didn’t know her dad had. Eddie is attracted to Culler, who is 20 and is grieving much like Eddie. They both feel they need to figure out why Eddie’s dad would have killed himself. When cleaning out her father’s studio, Culler discovers that the four photos Seth left behind are marked. These photos take them on a treasure hunt of sorts, both of them hoping that at the end, they’ll know why.
I liked this book. It isn’t happy. It’s actually pretty dark and chilling but a really honest look at the grief that follows suicide and how those left behind have to deal with it.
Rated: High. Almost 70 uses of the f-word alone. Only 16 other milder swear words. This book deals heavily with suicide, which isn’t an easy subject. There’s a lot of talk about sex; the main character is wondering if her friend is having it; she’s fantasizing about who she wants to have sex with, but nothing is descriptive, and nothing ever happens. The book deals with some artists who portray people having sex (but the description is just spelled out as: two naked people having sex, but in less polite terms) and one of the artists (very minor character) favors sexual bondage photography to which the narrator briefly mentions the embarrassment of walking in on a session once when she was 15. There is also some underage drinking.