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This does not “dumb-down” important issues life YA sadly often do these days. It tackles lgbtq,Islam,race and the desire for fame with beautiful Poetic prose. A total heartbreaker worth each word. No weak fillings.
am so grateful for this gift of a book.
I *loved* Leave Me and Where She Went/If I Stay, so I blindly preordered this and regret it.
The audible has three different voices but even with different narration, I found it difficult to keep track of who is speaking and confusing. It took at least an hour to acclimate.
The 3 storylines are very contemporary and relatable, particularly if you are in your early 20s. The book also has a sweet "YA" feeling with "good vibes" at the end, but overall it was a "rental" B move I wish I hadn't rented.
Summary: three strangers collide. An event brings them together and you slowly learn their individual backstory/what they were each going through and grappling with at the time of the impact. As the title tells, all 3 were at a “crossroads” wondering where they were going, how they got to this place, and most scary: who would love them if they told the truth/were finally themselves and not who they thought everyone wanted them to be. Through their unlikely and strange new kinship they help each other to evolve... becoming truthful/free.
The whole story is a meditation on not being who you are because you’re afraid if you are yourself you’ll be alone, rejected, unwanted... but is the alternative actually better? Because living a lie and living for others happiness is miserable too. “The truth will set you free” is the basis of this book (that and the importance of honesty).
I do think this book could be magical if it hits the reader at the right time in their life. I’d recommend this to college-age readers, especially if they are struggling with being happy and themselves. As a voracious reader/listener (250 books per year) this was a miss for me and definitely more towards the bottom but I still like the author and recommend other works by her.