Anna O’Mally is completely avoiding the five stages of grief after the death of a close relative. A year later, she is practicing coffin yoga and writing Patti Smith lyrics on her arms, her own morbid version of visibly wearing her pain and firmly pushing her remaining family away.
Translation: This girl is pretty messed up, but I cared about her.
Before, she was a talented and dedicated writer, winning awards even in high school. Now, she never writes.
Translation: A year of burying your grief is bad.
She is trying not to think, trying not to breath, trying not to live. When another family tragedy occurs, Anna almost loses herself completely. Her best friend Nat and her interest in a new “friend” Mateo seem like her only connections to sanity.
Translation: The reader may become annoyed by the selfish narrator, who also begins to realize how self-focused she has been. We share the experience of her guilt emotional pain and the catharsis of her self-discovery.
As Anna searches for the truth, a chain of events threatens to reveal even more surprises about the past.
Translation: Just when I wondered, “OMG, when is she going to wake up?!?” –she finally did. Thank goodness.
Words and their Meanings by Kate Bassett is a moving and emotional story in which the author beautifully captures the narrator’s blinding grief and depression.
Translation: I was sobbing the last third of the book.
Find Words and their Meanings by Kate Bassett in the Young Adult Paperback section of the library, in David J’s Place.