Francis is an outsider, teased for his love of fashion, trying to fly under the radar. One day while hiding out during lunch, he meets Jessica, a ghost who doesn’t know why she’s there or why Francis can see her when so many others don’t. Francis meets Andi, then Roland. Jessica can see them, too. Slowly, we realize that the one thing they all have in common is suicide—trying it, thinking about it, planning for it, whatever.
Friends for Life shows both the despair felt and the way out for young people. It’s not heavy-handed, but the message is clear. We are not alone. We all matter. We all have something of value to share. Sometimes being who you truly are is hard, but it’s worth it to try.
The bullying, the frustration, the daily grind of feeling not-enough – it’s all there. With Jessica’s help, Francis becomes a kind of teen whisperer, able to connect with kids whose parents are desperate. Jessica may have to move on eventually, but Francis and the others will be forever changed, saved from the darkness even as it swallowed Jessica up.
Friends for Life by Andrew Norriss