When Aggi Frank and Max Granger finally admitted their feelings for each other last December, it felt like love was beautiful and endless… until it wasn’t.
A fatal car accident involving their older siblings throws their lives into sudden chaos. And with a restraining order now in place between the two bitter households, Aggi and Max’s love runs cold. Being together again seems like a distant fantasy, even though they share the same driveway.
Still, Plum Lake is a small town, and staying apart can’t last forever. Aggi and Max eventually reunite at a lake-house party hosted by a mutual friend and break the ice after a year of silence. But just as they begin to rebuild their relationship, the unthinkable happens when Aggi’s little sister, Grace, ﬂees from home after their father spirals into a ﬁt of rage. With a support system of friends close by, Aggi and Max must confront each other and their families in the hopes of mending all the broken pieces.
After living next door to each other for nearly their entire lives and just after they finally revealed their feelings for one another, Max and Aggi’s siblings die in an accident. Now their fathers are at a lawsuit war with one another, and have forbade their kids to see each other. So for a year, Max and Aggi are just neighbors who ignore each other, but the feelings never go away.
One night, all the kids who live on the lake are invited to a party, including Max and Aggi. Their best friends, Henry and Ume, decide its finally time for the two to talk and try to get the two together during the night. But when Aggi’s little sister disappears in the lake, Max risks the freezing cold water to save her and eventually force a dialogue between him and Aggi. It’s short, but it’s a start. Soon after the two are talking and realizing that their feelings have never gone away and what’s more, they don’t want to be without each other again.
Now, my favorite characters were not Max and Aggi. While I liked them and felt their internal struggle on how they felt they could’ve prevented the accident their siblings were in, I found that I liked their best friends a little more. Henry and Ume were the entertainment in a melancholy tale – Henry with his outlook on life and how he believes in the power of love, and Ume with her bluntness. They were the perfect pair to compliment their best friends and help them through their troubles of the past year.
Throughout the story I really felt for Aggi. Her family was literally falling apart after her sister’s death – her mom began to neglect the daughters she still had, her father drank more and yelled over little things, her little sister was sent to live with their mom’s friend, and on top of that, they were in danger of losing their home. There wasn’t much shown of Max’s family, though he thought his father was wrong to start the first lawsuit in the first place, but he did understand his father’s anger. Max was angry too, but more at himself than anyone else.
What I liked about this book was how it showed that people manage their grief in different ways. They process it differently, and some are able to get past it more than others. Or someone else’s grief can prolong another’s. There were sad moments, sweet moments, and just all-around moments in this book that hit me in the feels. That’s probably why I read it in one sitting. I do feel there was something missing, but maybe that’s just because I wanted more from these characters and their story. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend.
Rating: 3.5 stars