Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There's something clearly wrong with Frenchie: she's depressed, doesn't want to hang out with her friends (even as Joel is pulling away because of his involvement with Lily), didn't get into art school and doesn't seem to care, and when Robyn tries to set her up with Colin she's rude and obnoxious. Then, at the depths of her despair, she asks Colin to hang out with her one night - a night the mimics the night she spent with Andy Cooper, recent suicide and former classmate.
Their night is relatively stereotypical teen rebellion (swimming in the ocean at night, trying to "steal" a swan boat, getting a tattoo, etc.) and Frenchie is somehow convinced that she missed a clue, a sign, that could have saved Andy. It's something that probably every friend of a suicide wishes they could have done, that if they somehow relive the last time they were together they could change something and the friend would still be alive.
In that way, this book gets it right. The problem is twofold, however: Emily Dickinson seems randomly chosen to be a friend/mentor (if Frenchie's an artist, why doesn't she have an artist to talk to?) and I really didn't care about Frenchie. Her problems and despair just didn't move me.
ARC provided by publisher.