Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Retrospective Book Spot: Say Goodnight, Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver

There are friends we can't imagine living without.
Morgan and Jimmy were kids together, whirling around the porch on hot summer days. They've been friends forever, and by now they know each other inside out. They do everything together—from cutting high school to go into the city to coaching each other at dance auditions and acting workshops. They even argue well. A perfect friendship. Best friends. For life.

So how could life be so right and then be so wrong? After a terrible accident, Morgan suddenly has to face life alone. Without Jimmy around, though, it's like the best part of her has died. How could he do this to her? And why is love so hard?
I fell in love with this book when I was in middle school, seventh or eighth grade. My friend Morgan clued me into it and within a year, she was dead. She and her mother died in a horrific car accident that her little brother survived. Morgan and I were like book siamese twins or something; we traded books back and forth constantly. After her death, I made myself read this book on more than one occasion even though I couldn't get through it without bawling my eyes out. Of all the books that come to mind when I think of my friend, this is the one I see. 

It still makes me cry.

I was in a local bookstore in 2008, browsing around like all booklovers do, when I came into the YA section and saw this book. I snatched it off the shelf and was amazed - I hadn't seen a copy in years. I still haven't reread it since I'm too chicken but here's what I remember: this book is funny, poignant, eye-opening, and sob-inducing. I always liked to think that Morgan and Jimmy would have married later in life. They had that kind of connection that is very hard to find, like soulmates. Anybody who has lost someone dear to them should read this book. Heck, everybody should read it but I'm warning you - it will stick with you for a long, long time after.


Jane said...

I'm going to get this book for Anna for her birthday and hopefully she will let me read it too :) So sorry to hear about your friend.

Jen said...

Just make sure you've got a box of tissues to go with it 'cause you'll definitely need them. Morgan died in February of 1991 and every February I think about her and what she would have been like now. She was such a character with an awesome laugh and was older than her years. Anna's a lucky girl :)