“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.”
A beautiful book about grief, about mourning, but also about mental health, depression, suicide. Things got quite close for me (way too close) and at times I just needed to take a small breather before I continued. But then I soldiered on, because it was wonderfully written. I love that it takes place over a year and that we see how Caitlin moves through various stages of grief and pain. How she learns to find new friends, how she finds something she is passionate about, and she learns more about her friend as she reads her journal. Every day a journal entry.
Caitlin was a fabulous character and Nina LaCour has written her well. I loved that she loves both carpentry (and she makes something amazing) and photography. I loved reading about her times with Ingrid. About their friendship. All the things they did.
Caitlin’s bond with her parents is fragile, but I love that her parents are both there for her and also give her plenty of space, but well within some boundaries which I could understand. Caitlin goes through some dark times in this book.
There is also some romance but it never felt too much or that it didn’t fit. It fitted in perfect with Caitlin’s healing. Plus, I just loved the romance as the characters have great chemistry. Though I do hope that the boy learns about shirts and what not to wear. 😛
I am still a bit on the fence on Dylan. On the one hand, fantastic character. Had a laugh how she is addicted to coffee. Loved how she was with Maddy. Loved how she talked. But on the other hand, I did think she overreacted (so someone brushes you off for lunch once and is clearly not in a good headspace, is that any reason to ignore and avoid the other party for months?) and at times she just acted very weird to things.
While I wasn’t a fan of the photography teacher that much, I did warm up to her in the end. Understood her more. However, I do feel that as an adult and a teacher she should have done more.
I loved Caitlin’s photography project + what she did when she finished the journal. On the one hand they are Ingrid’s personal thoughts, but on the other hand I feel sharing them is also nice to the people who care about her and want to know more about her.
While on the one side I am always in disbelief over how people get their license in America and really never want to be found on any road there, really this girl just had to drive up and down a silent road and do a 3 point something and then voila, done. WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL? But on the other hand, I would have gotten my license at least then. Here it costs around 1000-3000 euro for lessons, then a couple hundreds for the written and the practical test (which aren’t as easy as what you see above), and then some extra euros to actually get the license. I have never been able to afford that, so I still cannot drive. Then again, I would want to feel safe in a car and getting the license like one would get a toy from a cereal box doesn’t seem very safe. 😛
I also wonder what happened to all the drawings? The blurb specifies this: “But Ingrid left something behind. In words and drawings, Ingrid documented a painful farewell in her journal.” I have seen 1 drawing, and then later (when the journal is over and Caitlin starts her awesome project) we get another one. I was definitely disappointed about this. I was looking forward to a nice mix of things and I just get (not always easy to read) written journal entries.
I could probably go on, like the cover and the page after are gorgeous, there are moments I cried, there are moments I laughed, I loved the town our MC lived in, I loved that she knew that she had a good life and that she was thinking the differences between her school and someone else close to her was odd, but let me just stop here. One last thing, yes I know, I would recommend this gorgeous book to everyone! Nina LaCour has done it again!