Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere: in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safekeeping on that day.
His mother asked her to pack up his things, even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.
Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads
*Thank you to the publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers, and NetGalley for providing this title in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Megan Miranda’s works and I’ve been meaning to read them but just can’t find the time to squeeze one in. And then I got approved for this title and was so excited to finally get to read a Megan Miranda book.
What will you do if your ex-boyfriend suddenly died and his mom asked you to pack his stuff? Would you do it despite the hurt, the grief, and most of all, the guilt you’re feeling, knowing you’re the last person he talked to before he died? Jessa Whitworth did. Not that she got much of a choice since it’s pretty obvious that Caleb’s mom is blaming Jessa for her son’s death and this is her punishment. But she wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions that enveloped her while sorting his belongings and realized that she is everywhere in Caleb’s room. From the photos he keeps, his shirt, school stuff and little mementos he saved during their relationship. Memories of their times together slammed into her with each item she picked and she realized that things between her and Caleb are not what she believed it to be. That there are so many things, important things about him, he kept from her. And now she wondered if she really knew Caleb at all. Does everything they shared, every action he showed her, are any of those true at all? And despite all that, she is determined to uncover the mystery of what really happened to Caleb that day of the accident.
So, this started painfully slow for me. The writing is excellent, no doubt about that, but the pacing was slow-moving as it focused on Jessa’s grief for her ex-boyfriend’s sudden death and how she deals with being surrounded by things that remind her of not only him but them, as well. Narrated by Jessa, the story was told in the present with her packing Caleb’s stuff and with every item she held brings back memories of the times she spent with her ex-boyfriend. But that back and forth between past and present can be very confusing and dragging and would require some patience. Once you get past that slow start, which is actually the first half of the book, things picked up and took on an unexpected turn that will surely give a newfound interest to the story. As the suspense build and mystery starts to unravel, it is impossible to put down. The characters are great and Jessa is a solid main character and so easy to identify with. Her grief is heavy and yet she is also strong and determined. Only, I would have liked it more if there’s a bit more background about her than just focusing so much on her relationship with Caleb. Because in the end, it feels like I knew more about Caleb than Jessa.
The twist may not be as surprising or shocking, some might find it predictable even, but it is still satisfying and fit the mysterious puzzle perfectly. Also, I like the clever switch from YA contemporary to mystery. Overall, Fragments of the Lost is an unexpected yet well-crafted YA mystery story, really impressive and worth sticking to. I can’t wait read more of Megan Miranda’s books.