RITA ® Finalist Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary Alberta, near the Canadian Rockies, with her husband and son and a chubby Chihuahua named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says "eh" a lot.
"Without excess heavy-handedness, Gurtler weaves a tale of collective responsibility as several teens reflect on their actions that one fateful night. A well-crafted story about a student's fight to feel normal again when a community of peers turns on her." - Booklist
"This is a relatable story about nurturing a friendship, and it's not every day that teens will have the chance to read about paintballing. The lesson that Grace learns is a good one, and the strong female characters are a plus" - School Library Journal
"Rich in characterization, Gurtler's novel wrestles with some serious issues and explores different means of coping (or escaping) yet manages not to be overwhelming or bleak. Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, this is a strong debut that attempts to answer the question, What does it really mean to live?" - Booklist
"Gurtler unabashedly tackles several sensitive topics without sacrificing the story line and constructs a beautiful paradox by making the burden of carrying a secret the factor that enables Jaz to face her outcast fear. This novel also addresses the pressure students feel to fit in and encourages them to stay true to themselves. Sometimes we just need to hear that it's OK to be different." – Booklist