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Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers' Favorite
Life was good for Jamie Matthews at age five. His family closely held his mom, his dad, his twin sisters Rose and Jasmine, and of course him. That wass until September 9th, when a series of terrorist bombs were set off and Rose happened to be one of the casualties. From that moment nothing would ever be the same. Mom wanted to bury Rose while dad wanted cremation. Neither of them could accept their beautiful daughter's fate. Five years go, on the very day of Jasmine's 15th birthday, everything unravels. Jamie and Jasmine live with their alcoholic father and never hear from their beloved mother. It isn't easy for the two whose teenage struggles are compacted with home life and the struggle to carry on a life somewhat resembling normalcy.
The author does a fine job drawing the reader in at the very beginning in such a way that it feels like listening to the story of somebody you might care about (like a distant relative). The joy and pain that the family feels is quite real. Truth be told, I want to go find little Jamie and his teenage sister and hug them tightly so they know somebody cares. That is how real this story is. There are several underlying plots that could be used for educational purposes. The themes of death, broken families, alcoholism, abandonment and bullying (to name a few) are very moving. Every kid should have the option to check this book out at their local library.