Can’t Look Away
By Donna Cooner
Publication date: Aug. 26, 2014
Point, 272 pages
Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.
Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident — maybe because of Torrey and her videos — Torrey’s perfect world implodes.
Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?
— Goodreads.com description
I adored Donna Cooner’s Skinny (click to read my review) and was thrilled that I enjoyed Don’t Look Away just as much.
This book is about Torrey, a popular beauty vlogger who has quite a bit to deal with: a backstabbing ex-bestie, a new school, haters on the Internet, a struggling mother and, most of all, the recent death of her little sister.
Despite the serious subject matter, in reading over my notes, I used the word “adorable” an awful lot. LUIS! It’s all his fault!
Torrey, meanwhile, gosh what a SNOB. This book has a lot of mean girl action, but I enjoyed watching Torrey turn the other cheek, see herself and her actions more clearly and begin to work through her grief.
And I thought it was really interesting and unique how Cooner used the Day of the Dead motif to help Torrey heal.
Two books in, I can definitely say I’m a big fan of Cooner’s work. Fans of contemps, especially with interest in grief and/or Internet fame/bullying, you’ll like this.