Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world. Read more...
Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world. They're gotten used to this life: two motherless dudes living among thousands of Madonnas. But Jesse has a heart condition that will ultimately cut his life tragically short. Before he dies, he arranges a mysterious trip to Europe for his three cousins, his best friend, and his girlfriend to take after he passes away. It's a trip that will forever change the lives of these young teens and one that will help them come to terms with Jesse's death.
With vivid writing, poignant themes, and abundant doses of humor throughout, Kate Hattemer's second novel is a satisfying journey about looking for someone else's answers only to find yourself.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Cal, Trevor, Ben, Matt, and Lillian were the cousins, best friend, and girlfriend of the late Jesse Serrano, a boy born with a hole in his heart whose body finally succumbed to the inevitable. Heartbroken and lost, the five recent high school graduates head on a mission to Europe, plotted by Jesse, to find the mother who abandoned him as a baby. Resentment, confusion, and despair about losing Jesse threaten to upend the trip, as the teens squabble about their lost friend, his wishes, and their presence (or lack thereof) during the last months of his life. Hattemer’s vivid third-person narrative and occasional excerpts from Jesse’s journal create a layered story of big questions and intense relationships, new and old. Even as cousin Cal and ex-girlfriend Lillian bicker, the travel adventures are peppered with humor and quirky characters. Hattemer (The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy) never resorts to melodrama or sensationalizes anyone’s grief, making for a moving read for readers of all ages. Ages 12–up. Agent: Uwe Stender, Triada U.S. Literary Agency. (Apr.)