If Only by Carole Geithner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's rare when I agree with blurbage/jacket copy like "...nothing short of extraordinary" but here, it's so deserved.
Corinna's life has been completely upended by the death of her mother in the summer between her seventh and eighth grade years. If Only is her journal of her life during 8th grade, marking the various firsts of life without her mother, as well as first in life generally. There's such deep sadness mixed with normal teen girl stuff (like her "orange crush") and her feelings of loneliness and distance from her friends are part of a pitch-perfect book. There were no moments when I felt that there was something age inappropriate or false about Corinna's voice.
While written for middle grade girls, this is a wonderful read for anyone who has lost, or knows someone who has lost, a parent when young.
ARC provided by publisher.