Yes, the beginning is a bit rough and it doesn't get any easier. Jessica ends going back to her hometown a few months after September 11, and she's a shell of a person. The great thing is she has a wonderful support system, but she doesn't know how to cope. Slowly her family tries to get her out. When she finally gets out she runs into Brandon Todd, and feels like her family is trying to push her into another relationship. However, Brandon just offers her a friendship during this time.
Honestly, Learning to Live is a beautiful story about second chance on life and knowing that anything is possible. I love the relationship between Jess and Brandon, because Brandon is just there for her. When she tries to put up wall, because of grief he stays. I like that she starts to wonder why he sticks around when she's not the most pleasant person to be around. Seriously, this is an awesome story, and I'm seriously restraining myself from telling you ever detail about the story.
So, here's the bottom line: Grab your box of tissues cause you will need it for the sad and happy times. Even the happy times had me crying. If you aren't crying, you my friend have a heart of stone, because the story is that moving. I have read other stuff by Jerrica and this is by far her best work. I can't emphasize how much I love this story and I would strongly encourage you all to get yourself a copy.
"We're all in this together, you know? You, me, Caroline. The only way to forget about our own losses and our own troubles is to focus on people who need us."
Copy provided by the author (I did preorder a copy)