1983. Newborn MTV. Cabbage Patch Kids. President Reagan. A U.S. — U.S.S.R. Cold War that threatens to go hot at any moment.
Against this backdrop, three teens begin a year of change and turmoil following the sudden loss of one of their closest friends.
Dakota meant different things to Cameron, Bryce, and Claire. When she disappears in a plane crash, they each have to face their own mortality, along with the secrets they still carry about her.
Cameron Casey's goal for senior year of high school is to maintain his 4.0 GPA so he can escape to his dream college. Then he meets a new girl, who he comes to see as his second chance with the recently departed, a second chance he's determined not to waste.
Bryce Rollins, Cameron's best friend and fellow senior, has big dreams that include being a professional artist and not going through high school dateless. When he becomes convinced he has a terminal illness, he realizes these both may be hopeless causes, the kind he does best.
Claire Rollins, Bryce's sister, finds herself alone and adrift freshman year. Seemingly guided by messages from beyond the grave, she seeks solace in a boy who challenges her beliefs about life, happiness, and God. But if her mother ever found out what her little girl is up to…
"After Dakota is a gorgeously written and compelling novel by a major new writer. Funny and moving in equal measure, this story brings you, heart and soul, into the lives of its three central characters, who have to figure out how to grow up in the face of a baffling loss. A beautiful, wonderfully honest, engaging, and significant book."
Harriet Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper