Read This!: PHANTOM LIMBS by Paula Garner

Phantom LimbsPhantom Limbs by Paula Garner

Summary: Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

How do you bear the unbearable? That’s the question that plagues the characters in this sensitive, searing novel, as they all grapple with huge losses. Otis, the narrator, lost his little brother in a tragic accident, only to lose Meg, his best friend and first love, not long after. Only when Meg returns four years later does he begin to see how much Meg had suffered too, and how blind his own grief made him to hers. Fortunately, Otis has his smart-mouthed and prickly swimming mentor/best friend Dara, herself suffering literal phantom pains from the loss of her arm, to keep him grounded. Part sweet romance, part coming of age story, this is an immersive tale of redemption and emotional survival.

PHANTOM LIMBS is out now.

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