Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo (2014)
I just finished reading this book. It took me longer than usual (to read this book.) I reluctantly give it 4/5 stars. It really is a well-written view of grief from a teen’s perspective, but it was somewhat difficult to really get into. I liked that premise that Leigh’s family has moved to a cemetery, and that Leigh’s father has pretty much given her no choice but to work the office. Her older sister cannot because her cancer is in remission and she is all into running now. No time (and the cancer thing) for working the cemetery’s office and selling plots and stones. Their mother seems entirely disconnected from her family because she misses the ocean, and recovering from her older daughter recovering from cancer. It takes a while to get to the fact that it is Leigh’s best friend who had died in an accident months before.
I found myself frustrated with Leigh. She is depressed most of the book, which is understandable, but what I don’t understand is why she can’t be friends with a girl she meets after Emily’s death. She is afraid of replacing Emily, but she is outright mean at times to Elanor. Leigh also just exists on one special (to her) kind of candy. . . and loses all sorts of weight. I feel I am very empathetic, but here’s the deal: For me, in grief, I eat. I eat my feelings. I ate like crazy after my first son died (entire large packages of cookies in one sitting kind of eating.) So trying to understand Leigh’s lack of appetite is admittedly difficult.
I lived for six years as a child next to a cemetery, and I loved it. It was not a scary place at all.