What You Left Me
by Bridget Morrissey
publication date June 5, 2018
courtesy of www.netgalley.com
Magical realism. As a result of a drunk driving accident during their high school graduation, friends get connected through dreams to the friend who "is stuck" in limbo from his injuries. I might have liked this better if the characters beyond the three main characters were more developed. The other 'friends' are not stereotypical; it's just that they're not described enough for me to empathize or connect with any of them. They are more like plot devices than participants.
My suspension of disbelief isn't working when someone with a class rank of 11 gets over a year to make up one exam in order to keep her class rank. The real pressures of high school report cards, class rank, and accountability required magical realism to make this work.
I'd like to think teens are smarter than to ditch in the middle of their high school graduation ceremony in order to go on a drunk joy ride all while expecting to return to the ceremony and have no one notice they'd been gone. The ditch, the drinking... as well as magically connecting to one's alphabetical neighbor for the first time at graduation?
I did appreciate the humorous lightness Morrissey offered throughout the story, but it wasn't enough to undo the falseness of the ending, "Do you really think you had control over what was going to happen to you?" Yes, don't get into a car with your impetuous, impulsive drunk friend.