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Paula Garner lives in Chicago with her family and their psychotic cat. Phantom Limbs is her first novel.
June 2017 NewGen Debut of the Month. In a nutshell: sensitive depiction of loss and survival Three young people, each marked by terrible loss are at the heart of this powerful YA novel. Otis lost his three year old brother in a tragic accident three years ago. He also lost the girl he loved; Meg was there when Mason died and holds herself to blame. She and her family left town after the accident and Otis has had no contact until suddenly he learns Meg is coming back. A talented swimmer, Otis is coached by a girl just a bit older, who has her own pain to deal with: Dara lost her arm in an accident which ended her hopes of a career as an athlete. Dara is tormented by phantom pains in her missing arm, the agony a vivid reminder for readers of Otis’s loss. Dara’s sharp tongue adds moments of relief to what could otherwise be almost too harrowing a story, and Garner allows all three young people a hopeful ending. ~ Andrea Reece
A heartbreaking YA debut about love and loss, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson.In this YA contemporary romance, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief - or be swept away by it.Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis's little brother dead and both of their families changed for ever. Since then, it's been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protege of eighteen-year-old Dara - part drill sergeant, part friend - who's hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he's never forgotten and the brother he's never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.