Happy book birthday to The Stepping off Place by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum! Here’s a book about friendships, the loss of a loved one, grief, and mental illness. As close as we may be to our friends and as much as we may know about them, sometimes there are pieces of themselves that they hide. And sometimes truths and loss are harder to face than we realize.

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the stepping off placeEvery girl loves her best friend, but Hattie is more like Reid’s social oxygen. Hattie’s the badass, Reid’s the wingman; that’s how it’s meant to be. But when Hattie drowns off the coast of Maine while summering with her family two weeks before the start of senior year, Reid must confront the devastating loss and her own identity crisis, all while hearing and seeing Hattie everywhere.

The police declare that Hattie died by suicide, but it just doesn’t make sense. Hattie was one of the most enigmatic and joyful people Reid has ever known. Something just doesn’t feel right, and in her grief, Reid immediately begins to question the circumstances surrounding Hattie’s death—and the secrets kept by the person she thought she knew better than herself. This is the summer that Reid is forced to reexamine everything she knows about alphas and betas, truth and lies, the complexities of mental health, and what it means to step into yourself.

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