If you look, you'll see that Holly Thompson is one of my Goodreads friends. I'm under no pressure to give her book a good review though. I only found her here after she visited my school. Otherwise, we are not acquainted.
I am acquainted with her topic. Not suicide, but Japan. And orchards, both apple and mikan. As a student, I worked at UMASS's apple orchard in Belchertown, MA. I also lived in a mikan growing region of Japan at one time, so I was looking forward to reading a book that touched on those settings and I was very satisfied with the details of orchards and life in a small Japanese town.
Thompson's novel is written as poetry, which did not take long to get used to. I've noticed some readers complaining that novels in verse tend to skimp on details and/or build up. I can see what they mean, though I thought it suited this story.
The narrator tells the story at a difficult time in her life. (She is from a group of girls who feel responsible for another girl's suicide.) Although I sometimes tired of the narrator's occasional need to address the deceased girl, I am not so sure it will bother most readers, especially the target audience, teens. Otherwise, I enjoyed the narrator's company. Her trip to Japan and her encounter with her Japanese family's customs influences her behavior when she returns to New York and enables her to subdue her grief and move on. It is not forced and is believable and moving.