ARC REVIEW | How to Make Friends with the Dark





Genre: TEENS + YA Contemporary

Rep: Foster Care, PoC, Disability. Mental Health, Found Family | TWs: Abuse, Grief, Loss of a Parent, Depression/Suicidal Thoughts, Substance Abuse,

this book 
is for the grievers 
this book 
is for the left behind
this book 
is for every broken heart
searching for a home

Kathleen Glasgow

This devastating masterpiece wrecked me entirely. I cried at least 3 times (probably more) and felt every bit of this deep in my soul. I’ve actually been dreading writing this review purely because I wasn’t sure that I would have the words to do it justice. I just…this is THE best book I’ve read this year –  hands down. I loved Tiger and her friends and family SO much! Tiger is in high school and it’s always been herself and her mom in their ‘good looking, good smelling, well-oiled machine,’ but when her mother dies Tiger’s world is completely upended. She feels a lot of guilt for several reasons regarding her mother’s death (read the book to find out why because I’m not telling), and then is thrust into a world she’s never experienced – the foster system.

This is where it got very familiar for me. I haven’t read many books that tackle the foster system, and definitely none that have done it so well! Kathleen approaches the topic with great care and respect, which I loved. She actually approaches all the heavy topics in this novel with the same care and respect, making it a beautifully written book. She wrote Tiger’s story as a way for herself to work through her grief, but in doing so has also given readers a book to do the same for them. For me, reading this novel was cathartic, especially after the loss of my fiance’s mother last year. I was very close to her and miss her like my own family – because she pretty much was. We miss her so much and I don’t think that ever stops. Grief is hard and it sucks, but I guess that’s the price we pay for that kind of love. That experience made me connect to Tiger even more.

death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – tiger tolliver

The characters in HTMFWTD are phenomenal! Tiger, the MC, struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. She has her best friend, Cake (love all the unique names, by the way), who is like a sister to her and passes up other opportunities to be there for her several times, and Tiger also meets a few keepers along the way. I love her found family. The friends she makes in foster care and grief group specifically are perfect. And then there’s a twist I never saw coming! Again, go read the book to find out what happens! I hate spoilers!

There is so much more to say about this, but just go get the book and read it so you can feel all the feels like me! This was a TEN STAR read for me – but obviously all the rating systems only go to five, so I want to give it ALL THE STARS!! Now, go read this so you can love it as much as I do!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness that Karen M. McManus, the New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, calls “rare and powerful.”

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.


Thank you so much to Kathleen Glasgow and Rock the Boat News/Oneworld Publications for the ARC.

five stars

6 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW | How to Make Friends with the Dark

  1. I wholly agree with all your sentiments about this amazing book. It was as wonderful to read as it was difficult; it left me crying and thinking about my own ‘Grief Life’, my own mum, and about the lives of all the foster kids out there.
    I know you know I’ll be seeing Kathleen Glasgow for her signing this weekend and I can’t wait for that chance to let her know how impactful her writing is to me. I’ll be posting my own review soon too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🖤🖤🖤 I’m so happy to hear you loved it as much as I did! It was well worth the pain I felt to read this phenomenal book. Give her a big hug from me if you can and she’s amenable to it. Please let her know how much she’s impacted me, as well, if possible 🖤🖤 can’t wait to read your review!


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