Samantha and Reagan have been besties many years and are planning their transition to freshman year of high school. Both are athletic, and in particular they are outstanding basketball players. Just before school starts Reagan dies suddenly of an undiagnosed heart ailment. This throws Sam into terrible grief and depression, and the book is about how she finally pulls through, in part because her dead friend Reagan talks/appears to her and helps her.
The story is interesting and well-written. A host of characters march across the pages and they are nicely-realized. The author illustrates the value of playing sports, and she relays basketball action effectively.
There is sweet budding romance but no sex or sex talk. There are under two dozen uses of language that some readers will find offensive, including (if I recall correctly), one “hell,” one “ass,” and one “prick.” Curiously, most of the language consists of “God,” “Oh God,” and “Jesus.” This feels odd to me, since Dead Reagan (as Sam calls her) seems to be addressing and visiting Sam from an existence framed by Christian theology. At one point Reagan mildly remonstrates with Sam about her language but then afterwards she also exclaims “God.” So I dunno what’s up with that.
There is a superfluous short chapter called ” Fill ‘Er Up” at the end of the book which should have just been left off BECAUSE . . . the pages just preceding it contain one of the loveliest book endings I have read in a long time.