What’s in rural Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky? Liberty’s grandmother for one. For another, an unholy mess created by man’s greed. Liberty is looking for a place where she’ll receive cell-phone reception so she climbs the ridge from Granny’s house in the hollow. Once she reaches the top, she’s aghast at what she sees, or more exactly what she doesn’t see. She narrates, “Tanner’s Peak. The whole top of the freaking mountain … it’s just gone.” On top of discovering that the mountaintop removal was done by the coal company, Peabody’s Mining, she notices the color of Granny’s water is like a neon orange. Then, even though her grandmother’s demeanor is as spunky as ever, she’s visibly weaker. And, she’s coughing up blood.
With her mother more out of the picture than in and finally arrested, seventeen-year-old Lib had no choice but to move to Ebbotsville, KY to stay with her grandmother. From years before, she remembers only a handful of people living there, one being Cole, the boy with the dimples and the crooked grin. He introduces her to the wrong crowd.
Amy Allgeyer has proved herself to be a strong writer with an uncanny ability to create unique characters, both those you will love and those you will loathe. I adored the spunky personality of Lib’s grandmother and applauded Lib’s courage and determination. While the story is a bit predictable, it is presented with emotion and the plot flows effortlessly from start to finish. This is teen fiction (12 – 18) that can be enjoyed by all ages. Rating: 4 out of 5.