Just Like That (Kobo eBook)
In this poignant, perceptive, witty novel, Gary D. Schmidt brings authenticity and emotion to multiple plot strands, weaving in themes of grief, loss, redemption, achievement, and love. Following the death of her closest friend in summer 1968, Meryl Lee Kowalski goes off to St. Elene's Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the venerable boarding school's traditions and a social structure heavily weighted toward students from wealthy backgrounds. In a parallel story, Matt Coffin has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene's with a pillowcase full of money lifted from the leader of a criminal gang, fearing the gang's relentless, destructive pursuit. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.
Love, grief, power, and family all come together in The Cost of Knowing as Alex struggles to live his life as a young Black man grieving over the loss of his parents and best friend. His grief must also contend with his anxiety and a mysterious power that allows him to see the future of anything he touches. When learning of an event that he would do anything to prevent, he must come to terms with the origins of his power and the consequences of his actions as a brother, boyfriend, and young Black teenager. Morris is able to dive deep into an emotionally nuanced story layering grief, masculinity, and generational trauma that will leave readers with a powerful message about regret, choice, and knowledge. A book to support with full hearts, unashamed tears, and powerful voices. - review by Jessica