How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasglow
Delacorte Press, 2019, 424 pages
Trigger Warnings: Death, Drug Use, Alcohol Use, Abuse, Suicide, Profanity
About the Author: Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. GIRL IN PIECES was her first novel for young adults. Visit her at www.kathleenglasgowbooks.com, follow her on Twitter @kathglasgow or check out her adventures on Instagram: misskathleenglasgow.
“What we try to remember, most of all, is that grief slips into every part of your life, every day, every minute.”
Tiger’s normal, teenaged life—made up of planning for the dance and finally getting to kiss the boy of her dreams—takes a tragic turn for the worse with the sudden, inexplicable death of the person she is closest to in the whole world—her mother. Now orphaned, Tiger becomes a ward of the state, bounced from foster home to foster home as she tries desperately to make sense of her grief, as well as her mother’s mysterious past. It isn’t until she discovers her estranged father and previously unknown half-sister that the picture finally starts to come into focus, but are these strangers the family she is looking for?
A palpable expression of the many intricacies of grief, Glasgow’s second novel takes death—a commonly explored theme in YA literature—and presents it with a singular intensity that has the ability to gut-punch even the most stoic of readers. While not always pretty, this glimpse into the realities of loss, depression, and abuse, as well as the institutional failings of our child service and foster care systems, brings with it a heartfelt story of a girl trying to find herself among the chaos of losing a loved one. As every new, potential savior Tiger meets fades away into the depths of an unforgiving realism, she is forced to find strength within herself if she is to avoid being sucked down into the undertow of suffering. Not the average read for a casual YA observer, How to Make Friends with the Dark is sure to make you step back and question how your own spirit would fare in the face of your world’s total annihilation.
PRR Writer- Joe Buckler