As published by Evie Nagy for Fast Company
In the new novel Aspen by Rebekah Crane, the teenage title character is an awkward, artsy kid who gets into a car accident that kills the most popular girl at school. The book traces the bizarre fallout in her Boulder, Colorado, community, as well as Aspen’s relationship with her stoner mom. But unlike the typical after school-special YA fare, the drug part of the tale isn’t entirely cautionary.
“The mom is a flawed character—she had Aspen under a tree at a Widespread Panic concert at 16,” says Carey Albertine, cofounder of the book’s Denver-based publisher In This Together Media. “There’s a parade of men through the house, and she smokes pot, which is not great—Aspen will mention that her mom hasn’t gotten off the couch for a while. But their relationship is also funny and warm, and for all her flaws you also see how loving and nurturing she is to Aspen.”