I am fairly certain that every person has something they look back on with regret. Some people, though, have much worse regrets than others. Take Sebastian Cody, for example. When he was only four years old, he accidentally shot and killed his four month old baby sister. Can you even imagine the shame and depression that could stem from such a horrific tragedy?
This story takes place ten years after that tragedy, the summer after Sebastian’s ninth grade year. His mom is insistent that he have a “productive” summer, but he really doesn’t see the point. After all, he plans to kill himself at the end of the summer. All of his troubles began with a gun shot, and he plans to end them the same way. But then, a new girl moves into his neighborhood. Aneesa isn’t like anyone he’s ever met before. Not only is she a Muslim girl who wears a hijab, but she is so straight-forward that she often surprises Sebastian with her blunt honesty. It’s nice just to have a friend who doesn’t judge him for what he did all those years ago, but he wonders whether everything would change if only she knew the truth. Much like Jay Asher’s What Light, this book expertly explores coming of age, friendship, and self-forgiveness.