I really appreciated this book that I nearly read straight through. The main theme was quite interesting and delicately used, as were parent-teenager relations. Riley’s home’s atmosphere is oppressive despite the love her and father share, thecp reader is easily immerged in the story. The narration is simple and efficient (just a little too stereotypical for my taste sometimes). The best kept secret of the story is immedialty obvious for the reader; but the fact that Riley’s, a very clever girl, stays continuously clueless, if quite artificial, isn’t really annoying, just weird. The bizarre unbelievable sudden development in the end is also implausible but add some suspense so it’s also ok.
There are many nice personal touches in this story, helping forgetting these small flaws: a very good understanding of death, its practical realities and loss, and a strong reflection on the consequences of missing a parent since nearly forever.
All the same I thought it was a shame that some points weren’t likewise polished instead of being sorry YA clichés: the only boys worth knowing are the hot ones or cute ones (other boys just don’t seem to exist at all), the horribly mean pretty cheerleader and her horribly mean sidekick who behave conveniently atrociously, the nice blind boy who suddenly realise that his ex girlfriend is vicious, etc, the suddenly over-protecting father who doesn’t want his daughter spending half an hour eating lunch in a park with a boy, and so on.
As the book isn’t a first one, I’m afraid improvements in the area shouldn’t be expected, a shame…