I read the sequel for book club, and loved it. This one focuses on Debbie when she's younger, in middle school, and she loses her best friend. It feels younger, and rather immature, and considering the character's age, it's appropriate.
In Criss Cross, the characters seemed older than they were. They mused about the world; they weren't self-centered. Though their world seemed real, they weren't your typical teenagers. But in All Alone, Debbie reacts to her changing friendships with hateful comments about the interloper and a desperate attempt to win back the lost friend. There's denial, anger, despair, and finally acceptance. Along the way she gets comfort from some adults, who say exactly the right thing. The only part that didn't work for me was the set-up by Debbie's teacher.
The English teacher asked Debbie and another student to come in after school to talk about their latest assignment. It was obviously a ploy to make two lonely girls into friends, and it worked. I'd like to think that I'd never fall for that, and moreso, I'd be resentful. I've been known to dislike a person just because someone else introduced us at an inopportune time. I'm not doubtful that it would happen, just that it would work. As a consolation to reality, I guess, the set-up girl doesn't end up being Debbie's new best friend, rather a rebound, who brought her back to life after being dumped.
I don't know whether it would help a dumped friend to read this book, but I think probably anyone can relate to Debbie. How did I react in the same situation? I know this book wasn't directed toward me, but I enjoyed it anyway.