Tragedy, family, love, and loss collide in Hit by Lorie Ann Grover, a story told in two voices about a teen girl and the teacher she’s in love with, and what happens when a car accident lands her in the hospital.
After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah’s future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all.
Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah’s attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning.
But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.
What sets this book apart from other novels about student-teacher relationships is how well Grover focuses on everything else in these people’s lives. It’s not just about a potentially illegal relationship. It’s about a girl deciding her future, about her friendships, about her relationships with her family members. It’s about a young man and his career, his education, his family.
In many ways, Hit is a book that focuses very little on the would-be relationship between Sarah and Mr. Haddings. The story is more about what happens to this young woman when she is hit by a car — and the repercussions for the man who was driving the car. It’s about family and love and strength and weakness. It’s about forgiveness and moving on.
Hit is in stores October 7th.