Inspired by the true story of a teen who was killed at a railway crossing, the author weaves the tale of fourteen-year-old Paige, who, taking a shortcut alongside the tracks to avoid the school bullies, is tragically hit by a train and transported to a surreal world where she encounters Kim, who died seven years before. Convinced she is only dreaming, Paige must discover a way to return to her former life. Poignant, gripping, and full of unexpected twists and turns, Best Friends through Eternity will resonate with readers who have struggled with cultural identity, a sense of belonging, and the real meaning of home.
I was excited for the premise of this book, but it ended up feeling overly contrived and simple.
The main characters were fourteen years old, but I wish their speech hadn't felt like it. The way they talk just feels juvenile, and has little depth to it. Also, at fourteen I don't think that losing a boyfriend is worth the revenge Vanessa and her friends exact. There were many points where I wanted to roll my eyes at the characters.
Paige was adopted from China, and I wish this had played more of a role. Because her parents had abandoned her, she hated everything to do with Chinese culture and I found this to be disappointing. Her mother goes as far as to offer her a trip to China, but she's decided to hate a whole culture based on one family. I'd have liked to see how her cultures had mingled.
I didn't really understand the big deal she made about discovering the true cause of Kim's death. As they had been seven, her parents had said that Kim had just moved away. She's more upset about this than the fact that she's either dead or hallucinating.
Also, I'm not sure who the title refers to--the girls were seven when Kim died, but Paige and her current best friend Jasmine don't seem to have that intense of a relationship.
This book felt very good intentioned, but I had a lot of trouble buying it.