It’s the leaving season – that time of year when summer is over and everyone packs up their belongings to leave home and go out into the world. For Middie Daniels, who has one more year of school left, it’s also the time when her boyfriend Nate is leaving to take a year off to volunteer in Central America. Middie knows he’ll be back in no time and then the two of them will leave for college together and start their lives. But when the unexpected happens, Middie’s whole life is turned around and help comes from the last person she would expect – Nate’s best friend Lee.
This is a lovely story about grief, growing up, and figuring out who you are.
Middie and Nate have known each other for 10 years, and dated for 5, so it’s a struggle for Middie to figure out how to be just Middie. Without Nate, Middie is stuck trying to determine just who she is and what she wants. Does she want to attend the college that Nate picked? Does she want her life to be planned out and predictable? Could there be more to the world than just Nate?
Lee is Nate’s best friend, and while Lee and Middie don’t get along in the beginning, they bond over their shared grief. There were times where Middie was condescending and rude to Lee because he hadn’t followed the typical college-after-high-school path as everyone else. Lee is spontaneous and real and is just the sort of person to break Middie out of her comfort zone.
I realize this book was told from Middie’s point of view, but I wanted to know more about the friendship between Lee and Nate. One of the main points of the story is that Middie’s boyfriend’s best friend consoles her and helps her but we never learn much about this “best friend” friendship between Lee and Nate. I would have liked for Lee to tell more stories about his and Nate’s friendship or even a scene where Lee was really upset because Nate was dead. The whole reason that Lee and Middie become better friends is because Lee is Nate’s best friend, but I just didn’t see a real relationship there.
A bit cheesy at times (and I may had shed some tears), but overall I thought this was a quick and enjoyable book worth the read.