Emmy’s best friend Kim had promised to visit from the afterlife after she died. But so far Kim hasn’t shown up even once. Emmy blames herself for not believing hard enough. Finally, as the one-year anniversary of Kim’s death approaches, Emmy is visited by a ghost—but it’s not Kim. It’s Emmy’s awful dead science teacher. Emmy can’t help but think that she’s failed at being a true friend. But as more ghosts appear, she starts to realize that she’s not alone in her pain. Kim would have wanted her to move forward—and to do that, Emmy needs to start letting go.
Emmy sees dead people—but not the one she really wants to see.
It’s been one year since Emmy’s best friend, Kim, succumbed to her congenital heart disease while they were both in eighth grade. Before her death, Kim had made Emmy promise to contact her on important dates. Now that the anniversary of Kim’s death approaches, Emmy has been seeing, communicating with and even helping other recently deceased individuals navigate their transitions to death. So why can’t she find Kim? Chapters with different typefaces alternate between Emmy’s current, grief-stricken state and events leading up to Kim’s death, most notably Kim’s interest in a supposed medium touring their Las Vegas–area community. Although the quiet novel is a traditional prose narrative told from Emmy’s perspective, ample white space occasionally gives the story the look and feel of a verse novel. As she reconciles her feelings for the once popular and beautiful Kim, overweight Emmy also confronts such issues as self-image, bullying, the growing pains of adolescent friendships and first kisses.
A slow start may deter some, but sophisticated readers who stick with the story will find a thoughtful search for closure and acceptance. (Fiction. 12-15)