The Half-Orphan’s Handbook by Joan F. Smith
Themes: (TW) suicide, grief, loss of a parent, coming-of-age, first love, and heartbreak
Review by Kristen Higgason (she/her)
MLIS Student, Kent State University iSchool
M.Ed Student, Kent State University EHHS
Lila lost her father to suicide three months ago, and now her mother is sending her to grief camp – somewhere Lila doesn’t want to be and doesn’t think she needs to go. Can new friends and a potential love interest help her get back to “normal” after losing her dad?
This book BROKE me in so many good ways. This was incredibly emotional, well-written, and created a space for a group of people who tend to feel very isolated (survivors of suicide). The bright spots of this book are Joan F. Smith knows when to use humor and hope to lighten such a heavy topic. This book will truly mesmerize you if you let the emotions of the characters shine.