Study Guide

A Little Less Girl Tone

By Tess Oliver

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Passionate, Solemn, and Hopeful

This novel sort of fluctuates between several major feelings. On the one hand, Jake and Dani are pretty passionate about each and clearly falling in love. When they see each other, the stars align, butterflies flutter, and the score from Titanic swells in the background:

I nodded. It didn't matter where I sat. I couldn't hear anything Ms. Miller was saying over the pounding in my chest. And I couldn't see anything past the doll-like profile of the new girl. Amy's cousin. She looked absurdly girlish beneath the harsh layers of make-up, denim and leather. Aside from a tiny scar on her upper lip and a short jagged scar on her chin, she was flawless. And deep down, I hoped that she didn't know anything about Jake West. (7.17)

Yup, that's pretty darn romantic right there.

But because Amy's death sort of hovers over everything that happens in the story, there are also a whole lot of solemn, thoughtful, and sober moments where Jake and Dani are forced to reflect on the loss they've experienced and what roles they might have played in Amy's death. Not exactly cheery stuff, is it?

In the end, though, we are left with a sense of hope that Jake and Dani can move forward together. Now that they know the truth about how Amy died, they can start putting some of the pieces of their lives back together. And they can do it hand-in-hand. Aw.

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