“Are you ok?” … “How’s the pain?” … “How’re you doing?”
Edward is unable to answer any of these questions. He can’t consider how he’s feeling; that door is far too dangerous to open. He tries to stay away from thoughts and emotions, as if they’re furniture he can skirt past in a room.
Going into a book bracing for overwhelming tragedy is always hard. Contemporary, realistic grave tragedy must be difficult to write, and is certainly difficult to read.
That is exactly what you have to do when you crack the spine on Dear Edward, which follows a young boy after he becomes the sole survivor of a terrible plane crash.