In the seventy-five days since the accident that claimed her best friend Julia's life, Amy has been at Pinewood, a rehab center, recovering from her dependency on alcohol, trying to live with the absence of the only person who ever truly understood her and her overwhelming guilt concerning the night of the accident. When she gets out of rehab and is back home, her shrink asks her to keep a journal. Instead, Amy writes letters to Julia. Thus begins her tumultuous, painful, and somehow hopeful process of reconciling with the past, and learning to face the present.
Elizabeth Scott has created yet again another beautiful, eye-opening, and magnetic read that will grab readers and take them on a roller coaster ride of pain and suffering, hope and joy. Scott's tight and brisk writing perfectly convey Amy's tidal wave of feelings—regret, guilt, loneliness, and resentment, but also her hope to find a place where she doesn't feel self-conscious. Scott's treatment of Amy's tendency to use alcohol as a crutch is very straightforward and blunt, and she doesn't let it get in the way of the story, nor does she try to preach to readers on the issue, which is a refreshing gesture some readers will appreciate.
One of the main focuses in the novel is friendship, how it affects and molds who we are as people, and how difficult it can be to reach out to someone new. Scott captures all of the embarrassing, awkward, and frustrating aspects of connecting with those who you have misjudged and the complexity of relationships influenced by peer pressure and the need to belong. Another important element of the novel is how Amy's parent's are portrayed rather unconventionally; as parents who are too consumed with each other and are attempting to live the childless life they originally planned on rather than devote their time to being good parents. How they and Amy deal confront these issues and reveal long-withheld feelings is just another mark of Scott’s excellent storytelling abilities. Few writers can pull off such emotional, authentic, and truly striking novels as Elizabeth Scott has done with Love You, Hate You, Miss You.
Love You, Hate You, Miss You will be available from HarperTeen on May 26th, 2009!