St. Martin’s, Mar 22 2011, $27.99
In 2000, fourteen year old Lexi Baill learns she has family in Port George, Washington; her addicted late mom said they had none. She goes to live with her Great Aunt Eva who welcomes her to her trailer home.
Jude Faraday worries about her fourteen year old twins, popular Zach shy loner Mia. At lunch Lexi notices Mia alone and asks to join her. Mia warns her she commits social suicide but Lexi sits down with her. Mia invites her to her house while Zach is stunned as he is attracted to the new girl, but will not act on it as Mia needs friends.
Three years later, Mia and Tyler go to a dance, as Jude persuades Zach to take Lexi. At the dance, Zach and Lexi admit their attraction and begin dating. They go to a party with Zach the designated driver, but he gets drunk. On the way home, they have an accident. Mia dies; Zach is severely hurt; and Lexi breaks her arm. Lexi is convicted of vehicular homicide for driving under the influence and given 65 months. Her lawyer informs Zach that Lexi is pregnant. In 2010, Lexi is out of prison but needs to see Grace once before she leaves town. She is stunned as Grace is alone and unhappy. Angry Lexi files for partial custody.
The ensemble cast is fully developed while the character driven story line is well written. Although the transition in time in high school is difficult to follow and the underlying cause for the conviction over the top of the Space Needle, readers will enjoy this deep melodramatic family drama as the death of Mia turned her surviving loved ones into living dead.