Sep 17, 2014

Aspen by Rebekah Crane

One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

Aspen doesn't want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard-- because Katelyn may have died -- but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control ... and doesn't want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next.


 One horrible moment has changed a lot for Aspen. She's survived an accident, but the other driver wasn't so lucky and didn't survive. Katelyn was so perfect and Aspen wants to find out more about the person who was killed because their cars crashed into each other, but she doesn't have much success. Aspen's struggling at home, because her mother Ninny doesn't take care of her. It's the other way around. Ninny is a free spirit who smokes a lot of pot and who goes out with someone Aspen doesn't like at all. She thinks he's a loser and he's filthy. Fortunately Aspen has a few great friends and somehow the accident has also made her more popular at school. Katelyn's best friend wants to hang out with her and her boyfriend, Ben, is sitting next to her in Physics. Slowly they're getting to know each other. Aspen has to remember what happened on the night of the accident before she can deal with it. Will she finally allow the memories to come to the surface or will she never be ready to find out what happened?
The name Aspen comes from a tree, the one she's been born under. She was a surprise pregnancy and Ninny was just a child herself. Aspen is such a talented girl. She can draw very well and she doesn't do things because everyone else does them. She finds her own way in life. Even though that means she has to fight more battles. I really liked her strong character and her openness and frankness towards others. Gradually the reader finds out what happened on the night of the accident. I read this story in one sitting because I wanted to know as soon as I could. I couldn't stop reading. Aspen doesn't have an easy life, but she never complains, I liked that a lot. Ninny isn't a very good mother, but somehow she isn't a terrible person. I really appreciated the layers and nuances. Aspen isn't a standard YA novel, the story is more raw and honest, which made it both impressive and very good.

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