Wherever You Go has the potential to be a creepy paranormal young adult novel--teenager loses the boy she loves in a horrific car crash but he's not really gone; he's watching over her every move, unable to move on into the light because of his unfinished business on earth. And it is indeed a paranormal, but not in the typical sense that many young adult paranormals are today--there is the ghostly boyfriend watching over Holly, the survivor of the car crash that took his life. But it's so much more, layered so well and so heart wrenching that it transcends the typical novels out there today.
Six months have passed since the car crash that took Rob's life and yet he finds he can't move on into "the light", if there is even such a thing. So Rob spends his eternity watching over Holly, the girlfriend he loves but who never really fit into his popular crowd. Holly's trying to cope with her loss, but her problems are so much bigger than just losing Rob; her mother is working two jobs to try to make ends meet, so Holly must be surrogate mother to her younger sister Lena, cooking and cleaning and basically keeping their small apartment going. When Holly's beloved grandfather Aldo comes to live with them upon his diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Holly is stretched beyond her limits to cope. That's when Rob's best friend Jason enters her life, and together, they try to accomplish the items on Aldo's memory list while becoming more to one another. Complicating all of this is Rob's inability to be seen or heard by anyone...except Aldo. And his ramblings to Rob are mostly just the result of his Alzheimer's, right? So how can Rob make peace with his life and help Holly?
All of this is the tip of the iceberg for this wonderful novel that crept into my soul with every word and every page. Holly, Rob, Aldo, Jason...they are all so well written and so believable that the paranormal aspect is totally secondary to the depth of the story. The glimpses into Rob's parents' lives after the loss of their son, the generous way Holly attempts to hold her family together, Jason's growing feelings for his dead friend's girlfriend all round out this story fully. Moving between points of view--Holly's in first person, Rob's in second person, and Jason's in third--kept me reading "just one more page" until I was done. This one's moving, focused, and spirit-filled. Go read it now.