When I choose advanced reader copies of books to request on NetGalley, I think carefully about the students. Does this sound like it would appeal to them? Would they pick it up on their own? Young Widows Club met my requirements.
Summary on Goodreads:
First came love, then came marriage, and then…
For seventeen-year-old Tam, running off to marry her musician boyfriend is the ideal escape from her claustrophobic high-school life on the island, and the ultimate rebellion against her father and stepmother. But when Tam becomes a widow just weeks later, the shell-shocked teen is forced to find her way forward by going back to the life she thought she’d moved beyond—even as her struggle to deal with her grief is forcing her to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined.
My Overall Thoughts:
How can I like a book and dislike a book at the same time? While Young Widows Club did take a while to get into, I did enjoy it in the end. It is one that I know students dealing with grief can connect with and may help them get through some of their sadness. That being said, there were some parts that I disagreed with:
How is a 17 year old allowed to get married to a 19 year old? In what world is it okay for a minor to marry an adult? It seemed like Tam’s dad and stepmom had no problem with her running away and Noah’s parents took her in like she was their own child. Why didn’t either set of parents tell them to wait until she graduated high school (or even after she finished college!)
Why isn’t Tam in school? Instead, she dropped out of school and planned to follow Noah and his band mates around as they perform. I don’t understand why her husband wouldn’t have wanted her to graduate from high school.
Why, why, why does Tam start a relationship with Colin, another widower she met at support group? He is 26!!!!! What is it with Tam’s attraction to men who are too old for her (at 17!)??????? I liked Colin but I wished he were actually a high school student dealing with the death of a family member, not a lawyer who had lost his wife. That was a bit creepy to me.
Bottom line: Once Tam joined the grief support group, I enjoyed watching her mature and make the types of decisions she should be making as a 17 year old. If you have students who are grieving, consider handing them Young Widows Club. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
**Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.**