Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: What Remains by Helene Dunbar

 arc cover goodreads cover

What Remains by Helene Dunbar
In less than a second...
... two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about--a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends--are gone forever.
In the hours that follow...
...Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same.
Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on.
But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just...won't...stop.
Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception.
And that might take a lifetime to accept...
Publishes in US: May 8th 2015 by Flux
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Flux via Netgalley
Series? no
I've read and reviewed a previous novel though: These Gentle Wounds

Buy it: Flux
Amazon UKBarnes and Noble
Indigo Canada

Author stalk away: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website


     I wanted to read this one because I liked the sound of their friendship, and the story of loss.... of one of his best friends and the sport that was such a huge part of his life are ripped from him. The promise of soul searching and figuring out his identity without what he had based so much of himself on.

     I did like that it started in a place before his loss, and I got to see the depth of his friendship with Lizzie and Spencer. Lizzie had a rough family life and Cal and Spencer were her rocks, the people that she could call at 2am and they would help her without a doubt. There is a complicated history between the three of them though. Spencer is gay but Lizzie has had a crush on him forever, and it comes out that they slept together. Cal likes a girl that he can't even get up the nerve to speak to, but there has been rumors flying around forever at school that he goes both ways and has been with both Lizzie and Spencer.

    Knowing all of that, when Cal got his heart transplant and Lizzie passed away, that is when Cal started blaming himself for her death as well as being completely lost about who he is with one leg of their friendship gone, and him unable to play baseball anymore. The plus side is that he gets to see his workaholic parents more right after, but the downside is they all of the sudden try to be involved.

    There are a few twists, one that I somehow didn't see coming, even when Cal started hearing Lizzie after she passed. I have read some stuff on cellular memory so I don't know why that didn't tip me off to the secret that his parents and the doctors kept from him. He has this huge amount of guilt and anger and that comes out against the ones closest to him. He still has Spencer, but they are both a little lost in their minds, and Cal doesn't take the time to really consider how Spencer could be feeling about Lizzie. They both feel like they didn't protect her enough, even after all of their promises to keep her safe.

     Cal had a hard things butt he finally went to see a therapist and that was finally a catalyst in talking out all of the things in his head. From over coming his fear I'd driving, to the confusion between him and Spencer.

      There was a sweet romance and I was glad that was thrown in and Cal got to have that piece of happiness in the midst of his grief.

    I like where it ended with Cal.... a new relationship and a way to handle the bad that happened. A way to make piece and still remember Lizzie. A hope that though his life changed so much that he could still follow different dreams but be true to himself.

Bottom Line: Emotional story of friendship and finding yourself after loss.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you/did you play sports in high school?

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