Synopses & Reviews
Along she came…
Everyday, Ryan Turner must face the reality that everyone knows what he did. It’s in they way they speak to him. It’s in the way they look at him. Ryan’s only solace comes from the local waterfall, where the violent crashing of the water clears his mind of everything.
But then one day, a girl named Nicki Thornton throws herself into his solitary world. Nicki is direct about his past and determined to crash through the wall of glass that Ryan has put between himself and others. She seeks answers to questions that she knows only Ryan can understand. Nicki dives deeper into his life, opening his heart and getting closer to the shameful secrets that he has tried to bury. Though Ryan knows he does not have all of the answers that she seeks, but he realizes that he may have found an answer to his own questions in her.
“Haunting, hopeful and masterfully crafted”—Kirkus Reviews
"In her second novel, Hubbard (The Secret Year) compellingly portrays the quiet anguish of 'after.' Sixteen-year-old Ryan has endured too much in a year a new school, mono, romantic rejection, and a suicidal gesture that sends him to a psychiatric facility. Now he is coping with the reality that there is no tidy closure to these events, much less a happy ending. He has to go back to school, to the same parents, and to adolescence, and nothing has gotten easier while he's been gone. His only friends are the ones he made in the hospital, and the 'Patterson Honesty' they communicated with there has given way to more socially palatable half-lies. The kids at school, meanwhile, just sneak glances at him or mock him as 'creepy.' Then he befriends Nicki younger, bolder, and persistent who demands that Ryan put into words what he has gone through, and everything starts to change. Hubbard is outstandingly successful at capturing the frustration of not having the words, especially in a culture that does not encourage boys to express what Ryan is feeling. Ages 14 up. Agent: Curtis Brown. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*“Hubbard is outstandingly successful at capturing the frustration of not having the words, especially in a culture that does not encourage boys to express what Ryan is feeling.” (starred review)
*“Evocative symbols, carefully drawn details and hints of romance enrich a spare, redemptive character study. Haunting, hopeful and masterfully crafted.” (starred review)
"The affecting story addresses issues of real concern without being maudlin. It is well paced and includes a bit of a twist near the end. This poignant novel about a sensitive teen trying to find his spot in the world will definitely find a YA readership."
A dark and provocative novel from the author of The Secret Year
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it's the only thing that makes him feel alive. He's sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan's depression that no one else has ever been brave enough--or cared enough--to ask. Ryan isn't sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again. Jennifer R. Hubbard has created a riveting story about a difficult but important subject.
About the Author
Jennifer R. Hubbard lives in the Philadelphia area. She is a hiker, a chocolate lover, and a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines. Her published books include the contemporary young-adult novels The Secret Year, Try Not To Breathe, and Until It Hurts To Stop.