Parents' Guide to

Meet Me at the River

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Moving romantic read deals with grief, suicidal impulses.

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Tressa's whole family situation in this compelling tale takes some sorting out. Her mother and Luke's father had a set of twins before splitting up, then got back together years after Tressa and Luke were born on the same day to different mothers. The reunited parents are understandably unhappy about the step-siblings' romantic relationship. Unrealistic and complicated as this might seem, it does set up Tressa and Luke as fated -- and doomed -- lovers.

Although it seems as if it could easily feel clichéd, the ghost story is actually sweet and sad. It's Tressa's story, though Luke and Tressa take turns narrating. Readers will empathize with her daily struggle with grief after Luke's death and her sharp insight about life's randomness: "All my life...I felt like I could never be sure of anything. When the truth is, that's how everybody lives. Nobody can be certain, ever, not for a single second." Maybe the story goes on a bit long, but Meet Me at the River offers a sophisticated and satisfying look at loss -- and what it takes to move on afterward.

Book Details

  • Author: Nina de Gramont
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Topics: High School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Atheneum
  • Publication date: October 15, 2013
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
  • Number of pages: 384
  • Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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