Life Interrupted by Kristen Kehoe
Life Interrupted by Kristen Kehoe
Rachel Reynolds isn’t running from her past, but she wouldn’t mind if it stopped chasing her, either. A senior in high school getting ready to graduate, Rachel is trying to look ahead toward her future, while forgetting the one night two years ago that set events in motion which altered the course of her entire life. Part of the future she’s looking for includes falling out of love with her best friend, an act she seems incapable of, especially when it appears he might just love her, too. As Rachel tries to find her footing in a relationship that has baggage before it starts, a nightmare from her past reappears, upsetting the tenuous balance of Rachel’s life and threatening the one person she loves most.
Voice is so important in young adult fiction in setting tone and developing character. Rae’s voice does not disappoint, both funny and self-deprecating. Rae (aka Rachel aka Flow) looks at life head on and narrates it unblinkingly, no regrets, despite an event that interrupted her life at the age of sixteen. I was struck by the aptness of the title, Life Interrupted, in describing Rae’s state as the book opens at the start of senior year. Can Rae fortify her relationships–friend, sister, lover? Can someone like her go to college? Learn to ask for and receive help from those who love her? These are issues with which many teens grapple, but not many whose lives have been so interrupted.
A particular strength of author Kehoe is the portrayal of relationships. There are no villains–well, there is one, but not the one you’re expecting–instead, there are misconceptions and misdirections. High school is treacherous, especially when you are the object of scorn, but friendship can come from unexpected places. Ultimately what matters is to dare to dig in and untangle the threads of relationships. To that end, Rae supports her neglected friend and braves what she imagines is the scorn of her sister. A harder task is for Rae to allow herself to love and be loved. Tripp, her best friend and secret love interest, is kind and loyal as well as sincere in his affection for Rae’s daughter. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Tripp with Rae’s Ex, he of the one night stand. The ensuing and inevitable conflict between Tripp and Ex set my heart a-beating!
Yet even the Ex in his way is not evil. Kehoe handles his character with finesse, folding him into her deft exploration of the abandonment issues that trouble all the characters–and perhaps many non-fictional teens–but Rae, most of all, with her brusque leave-them-before-they-leave-you approach. How do you overcome abandonment? How can Rae? You’ll have to read Life Interrupted to find out.
I didn’t love the epilogue. This from a gasp! die-hard proponent of prologues and epilogues. (See In Defense of Prologues.) However, in this case I felt the epilogue was an add-on I didn’t need and didn’t want. I would have preferred to imagine the post-life myself. That aside, I did enjoy the book and recommend it for those who like to read about tough teens making tough choices.
Mom, Wife, Coffee Addict, and Book Lover
I am a writer of YA/NA contemporary novels. I write about those crazy ages of 18-23 because there is nothing scarier than being told to grow up and decide what to do with your life and who to be so suddenly. I write about love because it’s my belief that love, in one form or another, saves us all at some point in our lives. I am married to a man who understands and believes in me, and mother to a beautiful baby girl and a neurotic Great Dane Puppy.
2 winners receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)!
Tour organized by: