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Wednesday Books
Ages 12-18

E-galley available on Edelweiss and NetGalley

Dustin Thao’s debut novel, YOU’VE REACHED SAM, took the world by storm with its tragically beautiful love story, and now he’s returned with an equally heartbreaking tale. Eric is secretly (or maybe not so secretly) in love with his best friend Daniel. But before he can really do anything about it, Daniel dies, and Eric is plunged into grief. As a way to deal with his sadness, Eric makes up scenarios in his head, thinking he sees Daniel everywhere he looks. One day, he runs into Haru, a boy he once spent the day with while on a trip to Japan. But Haru seems to appear out of nowhere and disappear with no warning, and it soon becomes clear that no one except Eric can see Haru. Despite Haru’s unexplainable existence, Eric is grateful to have someone to connect with. As the two spend more time together and grow closer, Eric continues to deal with his grief in his own way and must eventually confront his reality. 

With just two books, Dustin Thao is quickly becoming the master of emotional stories that tug on your heartstrings. The relationships in this book are so genuine—I especially loved the sibling relationship between Eric and his sister, Jasmine. And the love story between Haru and Eric is sweet and full of heart, as Haru helps Eric move through a very difficult time in his life. The way the plot explores the universal experiences of grief and loneliness is incredibly unique, and the magical elements blend seamlessly into the more realistic storylines. I’d hand this to fans of THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera, WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour, and WandaVision, as well as anyone who could use a good cry.

Happy Reading!
<3 Emily

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