The cover for Peter Bognanni’s second YA novel, THINGS I’M SEEING WITHOUT YOU, has been released and it’s beautiful.
Peter Bognanni‘s Things I’m Seeing Without You is bent on giving you all the heartbreaking moments you’ll ever want as it deals with the loss of a girl’s boyfriend in one of the most painful ways. But the cover of the book also hints at something hopeful and inspiring with a plight of birds flying together in an almost lyrical manner.
Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.
Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.
Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.
Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?
As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.
Funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, and wondrous, in the vein of Six Feet Under and I’ll Give You the Sun, Things I’m Seeing Without You is a beautiful examination of what it means to love someone, to lose someone, and to love again.
Read an excerpt from Chapter 10:
Somehow, the horse funeral was a success.
By the light of a pink moon, they swung Sergeant Bronson’s frozen body through the sky with a crane to get him from the freezer to his enormous coffin. The next day they thawed and embalmed him. Then they groomed him and made him look a show horse. Midafternoon, a jazz marching band walked a procession route lined with yellow and white carnations. And when the time came, the trumpet call sounded, and the little horses were untethered one by one.
We all just stood there and watched them run as fast as they could over the pasture, disappearing until they were specks against the horizon. By the end of it all, Leroy had tears in his eyes. I saw him wipe them away on the sleeve of his butterscotch-colored jacket before plucking a nearby carnation for his lapel.
On the flight back, Dad seemed pleased.
I watched him as he stared out the window at the wispy clouds just beyond the wing, a calm smile on his face. No animals had blown up this time, and he had a big check in his pocket. How big, I couldn’t tell you, but he kept touching it every once in a while to make sure it was still there.
“I probably didn’t take the time to tell you, Tess,” he said, “but thanks for your hard work the last couple days. That was, hands down, the best funeral I’ve done. And you’re a big part of it.”
“You’re welcome,” I said softly.
And, for the moment, I couldn’t think of anything terrible to add. It’s not like I felt like dancing or anything, but I was feeling slightly less awful. The funeral planning had been a helpful distraction. Also: Skip had given me his number before I left.
We weren’t likely to see each other again, but it felt good to know I wasn’t too far gone to attract a goofy-but-still-kind-of-hot cowboy. I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty, though, for not turning him down flat. If things had happened differently, I would be with Jonah right now in a tiny cabin somewhere, making sustainable yurts with gifted children in the mountains.
You can read the rest of the excerpt right here.
Things I’m Seeing Without You arrives in stores on September 26, 2017.