Me Since You
Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother—and herself—from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?
Reading Group Guide
Rowan Areno is a normal sixteen-year-old trying to walk the difficult line between rebellion and responsibility, finding her own path and trying to do right by her loving and slightly strict parents. But when her father, Nick, a decorated police officer, tries and fails to stop a tortured young man from leaping from an overpass to his death, everything in Rowan’s life begins to fall apart. As the media seizes on Nick’s failure to stop the suicide, he slides deeper and deeper into an irreversible depression, until finally, the unthinkable happens, and he commits suicide as well. Rowan can’t understand how her father could choose to leave her, and acts out, pushing away friends and taking risks with her safety. Rowan’s mother, wracked with her own guilt and sorrow over failing to save her husband, stops going to work and collects stray cats for comfort. Grief, fractured and unpredictable, rules their lives now. But when Eli Gage, a witness to the original suicide, comes to Officer Areno’s funeral, his own father killed in action in Iraq, he see more