Being seriously injured in a car accident and requiring months of hospitalization and rehabilitation is awful enough. To find out that the passenger in the car you were driving died is even worse. But possibly the worst thing would be not to remember what happened weeks prior to and the day of the accident and to not know who the passenger was. Adele Griffin tackles this in loud awake and lost. Ember has no idea who Anthony, the passenger, was. All she knows is that she was on her way from Brooklyn to Mount Kisco to visit her aunt on that icy day. All she knows is that she was saved and he wasn’t. That is a terrible burden.
Her best friend, Rebecca, and her ex-boyfriend, Holden, make statements about ‘before’ the accident, but Ember has no clue. Ember knows she and Holden had broken up weeks before.
But memory is a funny thing and even small, insignificant events and statements can spark a memory, and so it does with Ember. She visits places she visited ‘before’ and sees people she hung out with ‘before’ and memories start to return in bits and pieces.
If that was all there was to loud awake and lost, it would be fine. But in the hands of Adele Griffin, it is more. The writing is vivid. The trail of Ember’s memory is awesome. The ending is unbelievable…not in the sense you can’t believe it, but in the sense you don’t see it coming (or at least I didn’t). My favorite character, although a small (but pivotal) character, is Isabella. The reaction of everyone, from family to close friends to acquaintances, seems right on. You just want to keep on reading to find out what happens.
There’s suspense. There’s self discovery. There’s lost girl trying to find herself. One of the best books I’ve read this year.