Since We Last Spoke

304p. HarperCollins/Harper. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062571083.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—Aggi Frank and Max Granger have grown up together, neighbors their whole lives. They finally declare their love for each other in the most dramatic truth or dare and then lose their siblings in the same night. Aggi's sister loses control of her car on the way home from a concert with Max's brother, who is killed instantly. Ten days after the crash, guilt ridden and alone in her anguish, Aggi's sister dies by suicide. The Franks and the Grangers struggle to come to terms with this horrific tragedy, leaving the two young lovers at odds. Once two inseparable families in a small town, now they are bitter enemies who blame each other for their losses. Can a restraining order keep Aggi and Max from finding a way to live and love again? Rufener ambitiously tackles many topics in a single novel: manslaughter, suicide, bullying, sex, drugs, mental health, family violence, parental neglect, and abuse. Rufener successfully weaves all of these difficult subjects into a real and relatable narrative without platitudes or apologies. This is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story that stands on its own.
VERDICT This book is a definite first purchase for high school libraries.

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