A contemporary YA perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Jessi Kirby, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who accidentally caused her best friend’s death and, a year later, is still grappling with the consequences.
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.
It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn’t half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.
I’m crying right now. I just finished this book mere seconds ago, and I’m crying because it was beautiful: abso-freakin-lutely beautiful. From the beginning, the story that Rachel Phillips weaves is haunting, and the emotion that drives it forward is heart-wrenching.
At first it feels like the story will be black and white, but it’s messy and complicated and wonderful.
Dara is the girl who accidentally killed her best friend. The guilt and grief that weighs her down is something that is so inspiring to watch her overcome. I loved every second of character development with her.
Ethan is her best friend’s little brother. And also adorable. And protective. And I LOVE HIM OKAY? There does turn out to be romance between Dara and Ethan, but I’m really happy with how it was handled. It turned out adorable and wonderful and CAN YOU SAY NEW OTP?? I just,,, this book is so beautiful told y’all. I can’t even.
I loved the flashbacks to Sophomore Year—it gave insight into Dara and Ethan, and what went down. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, everything that happened, and there is a kind of graphic scene (blood, gore)
I just… I keep trying to come up with coherent thoughts about this book but it was just so good. Beautiful. Absolutely heart-wrenching. But it’s not just a story of a dark time in Dara’s life. It’s about the hope, the life after losing someone you love. It’s about the light that will inevitably lift you from the darkness. That even after something so horrible as losing a friend, accidentally causing a death, there is life. It gets better. Maybe not quickly, but slowly and surely, it will get better. And after awhile, you might even be able to think of the person you lost with joy, rather than just grief.
I want to write so much more about this book, but I’ll leave you with this: it’s beautiful, wonderful, at times hilarious, and I LOVE IT. go freaking read it.