Title: What Happened To Lani Garver
Author: Carol Plum-Ucci
Synopsis: The close-knit residents of Hackett Island have never seen anyone quite like Lani Garver. Everything about this new kid is a mystery: Where does Lani come from? How old is Lani? And most disturbing of all, is Lani a boy or a girl?
Claire McKenzie isn’t up to tormenting Lani with the rest of the high school elite. Instead, she befriends the intriguing outcast. But within days of Lani’s arrival, tragedy strikes and Claire must deal with shattered friendships and personal demons–and the possibility that angels may exist on earth.
Rating: 4 and a half stars
Review: Oh wow. By the end of this, I was bawling my eyes out – that’s just how powerful it was. Let me explain my feeling process through gifs:
Me before I started:
Me halfway through:
Me once I’d finished:
In this tiny, judgemental town, Lani Garver is the new kid, and that means trouble. Claire however, goes against the crowd and befriends Lani who ends up helping her in so many ways.
First of all, Lani Garver? Actual bae. I mean, look at this:
“I don’t like being put in boxes. Boy, girl, dork, popular – those are boxes.”
There was nothing I didn’t like about Lani in this book. Just wanted to get that out of the way before the actual review itself.
This book takes gender and sexuality and beautifully blends it with the idea of angels on Earth. I was astounded by the turn this book took around halfway through, but a good feeling.
The we got to the end of the book and I was quite literally bawling my eyes out over my Kindle. It was just so heartbreaking, and bittersweet…..just, you have to read it to understand my broken heart.
“You like boys?”
Lani’s face was all scrunched in Marcus’s hand, but he laughed. “Yes. I love boys.”
“I love girls.”
“Bisexual is a pretty sizable box.”
One thing that I didn’t like about this is the main character, Claire. I just found her to be such a doormat, and such a weak character. When she gets any sort of emotion other than sadness, she turns all Hulk, but otherwise she puts herself down constantly all on her with things like this:
Of course, a dumb-stupid-Claire remark followed.
I mean, it was okay at the start – she’s got awful friends, a shitty home life, she’s bound to be a little insecure – but by the time it got to three-quarters of the way through the book, I wanted to slap her across her face and tell her to get a fucking grip.
Just overall though, this book is incredible. Carol Plum Ucci writes this amazing story, and creates this beautiful character who blurs all the lines that may or may not be an actual angel. If you’re looking for an amazing LGBTQ read, this is one you just have to pick up. You won’t regret it.
“You’re supposed to be kind to everyone, because you never know when you’re meeting an angel.”