E.R. Frank,
(Atheneum, 2005)

Sixteen-year-old Anna was driving her (drunk) best friend home from a party when she collided head-on with her brother's girlfriend's car. Now a beautiful high school senior is dead, Anna nearly lost an eye and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and crippling nightmares, her best friend Ellen is in a wheelchair, and the family is at odds with one another. Wrecked opens with the car accident and its aftermath, but, as a whole, the book is an exploration of the fabric of an entire family.

Anna's friends and family have widely disparate reactions to the wreck. What is the right way to respond, anyway? Anna can find websites about how to deal with a dying family member, how to be a friend to someone who is grieving and how to cope if you have suicidal thoughts, but there is no website to address the peculiar situation of how to cope with unintentionally killing one of your peers.

The narration of Wrecked is told in a genuine teenaged voice, full of questions, full of frustration with parents and desperately seeking direction. In a strange way, the entire crisis brings Anna's family closer, to a more complete understanding of one another.

This book by E.R. Frank is highly recommended for teens and family members of all ages. It is especially important for anyone dealing with a family crisis or the accidental death of a family friend. Fans of this book should seek out Mary Beth Miller's Aimee and John Green's Looking for Alaska.

by Jessica Lux-Baumann
26 August 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.