Author: Isobella Jade
Publication Date: July 26, 2012
If you lived in Willow Ridge, a town based on Jade’s hometown called Liverpool in Central New York, you’d know of Estella Montclair. Estella is one of the top high school sprinters around and she’s in the newspaper all the time.
After Estella Montclair is killed in a texting and driving crash, what remains of her face and body is devastating.
But not all of her has died.
During the first month after her death, Estella’s spirit travels among her living friends and family. Her best friends Zara, Eva and Jett show her how pain and sorrow can break apart or strengthen a bond. She also sees for the first time that loss can spark revenge, catastrophe can come without warning, and we all have secrets. She wonders if her chance for love with Phoenix has passed her by, and if out of sight truly means out of mind.
And maybe one day the girl who caused her death will admit her mistake.
While adjusting to a new state of being, Estella struggles to face the limitations that come with death, but blossoms by recognizing she can still touch the lives of the people she once knew so well.
I was expecting something a little different from Careful, but was pleasantly surprised with it . There was a lot I could identify with in this story, and actually struck home numerous times. Estella is sixteen when she was broadsided by another classmate who ran a red light while texting, killing Estella. The details of the accident got to me, like remembering the song playing on the radio at the time and the charm on the rearview mirror. When I was in a bad car accident in high school, those are two specific things I remember.
Careful was interesting, because it made me start wondering about what it would have been like if I had ended up like Estella, still able to watch my friends and family, and help put them at ease. With Estella’s new perspective, she learned so much about the people around her – what they are really like. At times I felt like I was getting a little bored with the book, but when I left it for awhile, I found myself needing to find out what was going to happen next. However, it felt a little weird how Estella would watch her friends have sex. I understand the feelings she was having while observing… concern, grief, etc., but it still felt kind of odd.
Overall, though, Careful is a good book with a lot of emotions running through it. I recently found out that this will be a series, so I’m looking forward to seeing where everything leads to.