** spoiler alert **
This was an amazing snapshot of 4 days in a girls life that changed everything. And yet it's also a story of a girl who is starting, just starting, to figure out who she is.
Ellis's father's coma - specifically her mom's desire to remove him from life support - acts as a catalyst for Ellis facing the realities of her friendships. Further, a reconnection with a middle school friend puts her relationship with another "best friend" into a different light.
The addition of an unexpected romance with a girl helps to leave Ellis's resolution with a sense that she is "unfinished." What will come of the friend who's been "best" all these years is left in question, as are so many things.
I personally think there was a certain genius in having Ellis involved in a romantic setting with another girl friend. So much is changing for Ellis in this story & it leaves us with a sense of doubt as to whether the relationship is based on a genuine attraction for Ellis, or if it is instead about the comfort / comfortableness she feels when with this friend. I suspect that had the author involved Ellis in a similar relationship with a boy, it would have had the ring of "happy ending" in large part due to our societal norms. Instead, we get something more real and more satisfying - closure, questions unanswered, and hope.
Beautifuly written & recommended for age 13 and up.