Archive for the ‘Sticks and Stones’ Category

WhenKaceyLeftSticks and Stones were Kacey and Sara, ever since they were little kids. One without the other was incomplete. So when Sticks (Sara) wakes up to a phone call telling her that Stones (Kacey) has died, her whole world changed. Was it gossip or true friendship that caused Drea to call Sticks and tell her what happened? In Sticks’ mind it was the former.

In When Kacey Left by Dawn Green, Sticks has to come to grips with Stones’ death. In the form of journal entries (letters to Kacey) mandated by the o.c. (obnoxious counselor) who she’s forced to see, the story unwinds over the course of a school year. It begins when school starts and everyone stares at Sara with that ‘her best friend killed herself’ look. It progresses to the re-connection with their friends and more…I don’t want to ruin the ending.

But the other thing Sara wonders is whether she could have prevented what happened. Were there signs that she missed? Was Kacey acting differently? If she had done one thing differently, would Kacey still be alive? I imagine that is something everyone who knows a suicide victim constantly wonders.

The journal format that Green uses is not new, but it doesn’t feel old and worn out in her hands. Readers get a sense of who Kacey and Sara are; the idealized version of Kacey as Sara remembers in the beginning of the book to the realistic version as she progresses through her mourning process. Whereas many books concentrate on the causes of suicide be it bullying, stress, etc. in When Kacey Left the author concentrates on the best friend left behind; the whys and wherefores of Kacey’s action are largely unexplored, except for the wondering why.

As satisfying as any book about suicide can be, When Kacey Left is a satisfying read.

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