4.5 STARS There's this little part in the GR book page that enumerates the accolades the book has received and the ones Jellicoe got look too legit to quit (sorry, couldn't help myself). Then you factor in the glowing reviews that ratchets up the expectations from great to impossible to meet. It can't really be THAT good, right?Melina Marchetta will beg to disagree.I'm not going to natter about the first few chapters making no sense because it absolutely didn't. But you won't be left floating in pure confusion, whatever little is revealed in the story will be compelling enough to hold your interest. There's no other way to enjoy this book but to come in blind. Someone asked why Marchetta would tell the story like this. I don't know, maybe because she can? The words were simply elegant and lyrical. You do not mess with talent... this author felt like she slapped me with a bucketload of that."I remember love. It's what I have to keep on reminding myself. It's funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that's why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It's not the pain they're getting over, it's the love."But unlike most books dealing with angst-ridden issues, this one didn't feel weighed down by it's own plot. It read surprisingly light and funny. I loved all the secondary characters. I loved Jonah Griggs. And Ben (Me? Yes you, Ben). And Raffy. And Heckle and Jeckle. And Fritz. I am foreseeing a re-read in a week or two because finishing this book felt a lot like saying goodbye to friends. I feel tears running down my face and Raffy takes my hand and squeezes it. "what are you so sad about?" Santangelo says to me. "We're going to know him for the rest of our lives."I've only ever cried once or twice over a book, I think, and no, I'm not taking recommendations to shred my heart. I like my hardcore track record as it is, thanks. This one, I thought I've toughed it out well enough. It has been steadily plucking at my heartstrings around the 75% mark (it got me up to throat clearing, no biggie) then this book just yanked at 'em, hard, with Taylor finding the tree empty of Fritz and Webb, then waking up begging her mom for just one more day. and I was a goner.I see this book in everyone's TBR but only 9 have actually read it. QUIT WITH THE PUSSYFOOTING AND THE TOMFOOLERY AND READ THIS.Word of warning:Do NOT read this by yourself, in your car if it's the last 15%.Total emotional annihilation.People will stare at the crazy, crying woman clutching her ipad.