3 1/2 stars. This book is a fictional story based in the real life event of September 11; Abbi Goldstein, infamously known as Baby Hope, a baby captured in a picture, safe, just as the Twin Towers collapse. The events read like they are real, occasionally pulling in real events. I like Abbi; she is held up as an unwilling idol, memorializing the day for many, bringing tears and hugs, a constant reminder. Now enter Noah, a camp counselor at the same camp Abbi is counseling at in the summer. I don’t like Noah; while we know he has suffered a great loss on this tragic day, he uses blackmail to get Abbi to help him under the guise of a school newspaper article. Abbi is such a kind and sweet soul, the blackmail just feels heartless. And while the two have a slow burn romance, I never move Noah from the not liking category and that makes it hard to root for them.
Ultimately, it is a good story, and a hard story to tackle with tact, which the author does. The characters are interesting. Jack, Noah’s gay best friend is trying to figure out if they guy he is interested in is indeed gay too, and Abby’s sassy and smart grandmother is slowly falling victim to dementia.The parents on both side are caring, good parents, even though they have suffered their own share from this day, making a well rounded cast of characters.