Rowan Areno tries to come to grips with the suicide of her father following an attempt to prevent another man's suicide. Rowan Areno begins the story as a young woman that has very little to concern herself with aside from the pained existence of high school angst. One day, while she is having a discussion with her police officer father, he receives a call that changes their lives forever. The police call Rowan's father and inform him that there is a suspicious man carrying a baby towards an overpass and that he appears to be bent on suicide. Her father responds to the scene where he is met by another bystander, a young man named Eli, who is also trying to convince the man to at least spare his child if he is going to kill himself. However, the man says that he does not want his son to grow up and hear about what a horrible, cowardly man he had become. Despite the efforts of the police and Eli, the man leaps to his death and kills his child as well. During the following months, Rowan begins a friendship with Eli since he was one of the witnesses of the suicide. Initially, Rowan tries to help him cope with his feelings, but the public outcry from those who feel that Eli and the police could have done more takes its toll. The other students begin to bully Eli, and Rowan is unable to convince him to accept her help pushing back against them. Rowan's father commits suicide, unable to cope with the guilt of the child's death and the taunts that he suffers as a result of his failure. After this, Eli takes the role of counselor in their relationship and begins to become more of a boyfriend than just a friend. After weeks of refusing to open up to him about her feelings, Rowan finally breaks down on the eve of the anniversary of her father's suicide. Eli and Rowan grow closer, but the author leaves the fate of their romantic relationship up to the interpretation of the reader, though it is hopeful.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked this story because it did not turn into a typical romance with a happy ending. Rowan is a deeply troubled character and will need a great deal of help to reach catharsis.
Best scene in story:
The best scene in the novel is when the man commits suicide holding his child. The tension during the buildup, and the feeling that it will end well creates a palpable drawback when the attempts to help him goes wrong.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that Rowan is a resilient young woman who can take the role of a caretaker as well as someone who needs to be helped; characteristics which aid in her complexity.