By: David Levithan
Photos by: Jonathan Farmer
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 18, 2011
Everyone knows everyone they are close to. But…even with the best of friends, no one can actually know ALL there is to know about someone else. And it comes as a huge surprise to Evan that his best friend, Ariel, was someone who had many sides to her that Evan didn’t even know existed.
Evan loved Ariel, in a way. They talked all the time, hung out with each other, shared their tortured lives, and seemed to be the only ones in the world who understood the other. Jack was Ariel’s boyfriend. He was more of the handsome, jock type. Even though Evan likes Jack, he was always a bit surprised with the way his friend acted around him. What Evan never could seem to understand is that Ariel as his “friend” was far different than Ariel as “Jack’s girlfriend.” But he learned to accept that, seeing as that without Ariel, Evan had no idea what to do in life.
When our story begins, Evan is mourning the loss of his friend. She is gone now, and Evan is trying to find a way to recover, go on with his life, and get rid of the pure and utter guilt he has over his own participation in Ariel’s disappearance. The odd thing, however, is that Evan has started to receive pictures; little white envelopes have shown up in locations that Evan visits, as well as his locker at school. These are pictures of Ariel, him, Jack, and locales where he and Ariel used to hang out. Evan begins to wonder if Ariel is somehow back; perhaps she is the one leaving the pictures for him to find in order to make his heart hurt even worse. Or maybe someone else is sending these cryptic messages to Evan to torment him - maybe they know of his ‘actions’ in Ariel’s demise.
The author brings the reader on a very in-depth journey. The book is written with pages that are crossed out, as well as pages with pictures and no words, and chapters that are broken out into alphabetical sections, allowing the reader to feel as if they are not only reading a novel - but they are also watching a court case unfold.
Quill Says: Yes, the meaning of the book is clearly stated, but the avant-garde way of presenting the material is a bit trying at times.