Title: This Is What Goodbye Looks Like
Author: Olivia Rivers
Publication: June 17, 2016
Publisher: Red Sparrow Press
Genre: YA Fiction, Romance
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Lea Holder watched a boy die in the same DUI accident that ruined Lea’s legs and threw her little sister into a coma. As the only eye-witness to the accident, if she tells the truth in court, the drunk driver will go to prison and the dead boy’s family will have justice.
But Lea lies.
If she had told the truth, Lea would have put her own mom in prison for causing the accident. With the trial over and her mom set free, Lea attempts to rebuild her shattered life as she waits for her little sister to wake from her coma.
When Lea transfers schools, she finds herself in the same senior class as Seth Ashbury, the brother of the boy her mom killed. As Lea gets to know the person buried underneath Seth’s grief, she quickly falls for his quick wit and passionate soul. But Seth remains completely oblivious that Lea is the same girl who robbed his family of justice.
As their relationship deepens, Lea finally gets a taste of the love that’s been missing from her life since the accident. But soon she’s faced with a choice: she can continue her lies and accept the comfort it gives them both. Or she can tell Seth the truth about everything, and risk destroying both her family and her newfound love.
This is What Goodbye Looks Like is told from the perspective of Lea, a high school senior. Lea’s family is metaphorically broken, and she assigns herself the task of mending everyone back together. But to do that, Lea needs to enlist the help of Seth, a fellow senior, who apparently holds all the answers. What she discovers along her journey of trying to mend her family is that Seth’s family isn’t as put together as she thinks. Lea puts her heart on the line to save her family, but she doesn’t really think about how she might be hurting Seth in the process. Relationships are put to the test, faith in humanity is questioned, and reality hits hard when it is least expected.
A few favorite lines in the book, if you need more convincing to read it…
“…with the past clinging to me with such sharp claws, it’s hard to see the future as anything but a hazy improbability.”
“The things that really matter about a person aren’t things you can physically see. So if someone wants to stare at you, who cares? It’s not like they’ll get to see the real you without your permission.”
“Something is pretty if you can forgive its flaws…But if it’s beautiful, it makes you embrace its flaws.”
It’s pretty clear to me that Ms. Rivers has talent, save for a few proofreading errors that bugged me. She can weave an interesting and complex story line that, even at the last page, makes you want more. This is the second book of hers I have read (first being In the Hope of Memories, which rocked!), and I am eager to read more by her. You won’t want to miss this author or this book!