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The Odyssey of Falling

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with the boyfriend of her recently deceased best friend. Life is a little strange for Odd. Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.
After Audrey’s friend Meredith is killed in a car crash, Audrey struggles with grief, her feelings for Meredith’s boyfriend, and her guilt over texting Meredith just moments before the wreck. Accidentally discovering Meredith’s journal and a to-do list designed to make her senior year memorable, Audrey attempts to pays tribute to the future Meredith won’t have by completing the tasks herself, which include getting noticed, making out with a guy at a party, and falling in love. Debut author (and PW contributor) Crutcher offers an honest take on a dark theme. In life, Meredith seemed perfect, but her journal reveals her flaws and unease, which serve as a foil for Audrey’s muddled attempts to figure out her own desires. Audrey’s self-doubts should make her relatable to wallflowers aching to be noticed and confused teens trying to fit in. Although Audrey’s homage to her friend descends into a haze of parties, drug experimentation, and school suspension, this departure from routine helps her realize that she’s stuck in a spiral of self-sabotage and allows her to stop blaming herself for Meredith’s death. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)