About the book:
Running Press Books / May 2013
Frenchie Garcia can't come to grips with the death of Andy Cooper. Her friends didn't know she had a crush him. And they don’t know she was the last person with him before he committed suicide. But Frenchie’s biggest concern is how she blindly helped him die that night. Frenchie’s already insane obsession with death and Emily Dickinson won’t help her understand the role she played during Andy’s “one night of adventure.” But when she meets Colin, she may have found the perfect opportunity to recreate that night. While exploring the emotional depth of loss and transition to adulthood, Sanchez’s sharp humor and clever observations bring forth a richly developed voice.
My immediate reaction to this book was "holy shit I am in love!" (yea yea, sorry for dropping a curse word). Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia is a beautifully written young adult novel. Filled with philosophical questions and deep emotion, this novel was a stunner. I had anticipated that I would enjoy the book and would recommend it to my students- I didn't anticipate charging through all 272 pages in one evening. Jenny Torres Sanchez did a marvelous job creating deep characters with rushing emotions. Frenchie is a character that I think a lot of teens can relate to - especially those who lean towards the macabre. I certainly saw a bit of my (teenage) self in her.. that teenage angst that always rears its ugly (but necessary) head. The set up for the story is all there too- a good amount of build up to the story of Andy and his death, as well as Frenchie exposing herself to the reader. Sanchez also weaved the beautiful and desperate Emily Dickinson into this story, giving it yet another layer.
Love, loss, life, death, growing up... it is all packed into this novel- and it gives a mighty punch. The philosophical questioning that arises throughout is incredible. I felt myself nodding in agreement and praising Frenchie's wisdom as I read the story.
This young adult novel is a transitional tale - one that will help teens who are struggling to find their footing in this mad mad world. It will help kids dealing with death and loss. The cast of characters can help kids navigate through those muddy times of change within their lives. As Frenchie shares her story of that fateful night with Andy, it can shed light for those struggling with their own depression or that of a loved one.
This novel is incredible. I loved every minute of it and have already sung its praises to my colleagues and students. I would highly recommend this novel. Seriously- stop reading this post and go get yourself a copy.
Jenny Torres Sanchez lives in Florida with her husband and children where she currently writes full time. Before her debut novel The Downside of Being Charlie she taught high school for several years, where she credits her eclectic students for inspiring her to write young adult novels.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow
FTC: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review
Book information provided by Running Press Books
Author information provided by Amazon.com