.*** 5 beautiful, amazing, sweet, heartbreaking and I-want-to-crawl-into-a-hole-and-die stars ***
Before I get on with my review I want to say that, in my opinion, this book should be marked with "For readers 18 and over", because of the graphically described sex scenes, rape, physical and emotional violence .
I think this book can bring out a lot of different emotions in different readers. It depends on how old you are and what experience you've had in life.
Some readers can find this story repulsive or/and offensive. Others can be saddened or/and grossed out (by some scenes). In my case first I was freaked out, then sad, and towards the end just pissed and angry to the point that I couldn't see straight. This story brought very strange emotions in me.
I think my reaction to this story would have been different if I was not a woman, a mother, a friend and a human being.
Brooke is 18 years old girl that just recently lost someone she cared about. She have done a terrible, TERRIBLE mistake, which she regrets, but it's still costing her nightmares, panic attacks and makes her feel like sh!t.
She comes up with this brilliant idea (which in my opinion was absolutely terrible), to avenge her friends death.
The moment you read the details of her idea you know that things are bound to go horribly wrong, because there is simply no other outcome. And they do.
She meets a boy, who is messing up her plans and makes her doubt if her plan is a good idea. But she is a teenager who thinks she is on a top of the world and can handle anything (Don't they all?).
He looks and acts the part. He is a total sweetheart. He treats her right, says and does all the right things. But there is something about him that you can't quite put a finger on it. You know he's keeping a secret, but you don't know how bad it is. At this point I was afraid that it will turn into some kind of days-of-our-lives-ish teenage drama. But thank God it didn't.
Yes, she is young, and acts just like anyone her age would. But what I liked about her character was the fact that even though she made some awful choices, she was asking the right questions. She is strong and at the end of the book you get to see just how strong she really is.
I thought her relationship with her father was absolutely beautiful and I adored him. He, too, have done his fare-share of mistakes, but he was trying very hard to make up for them.
Now the secondary characters is a whole another story. I'm use to one bad guy per story, but there were a whole bunch of them who made my skin crawl. They are the reason that high school can be a real nightmare for some.
As repulsive as their characters were, they were brilliantly written. That is why I felt such a hatred towards them. The darkest evil always wears a mask of a good Samaritan.
I also want to address one particular scene in chapter 20, which cost strong reaction and I didn't know what to make of it. I was glad that author took the time to address readers and explain why she chose to include that specific scene.
The authors like S. Walden and stories like these is the reason why I still love YA books (although lately I was questioning myself why I still keep reading them).
I found it hard to relate to any of the characters in this book, simply because I have never experienced anything like it. But brilliant writing and character development made this story a total page turner.
This story can teach us about a lot of different things and could be analyzed from many different angles. Some might look at it as a love story, about forgiving and loving the other through thick and thin, about unconditional love for the significant other, about fathers love for his daughter, or true friendship . Others will think that it's about revenge and justice. And all of them would be right.
For me this story was about going through hell and back, and still managing to set one foot in a front of the other and find some meaning in life.
I want to share a quote from authors letter to a reader:"I never set out to tell a story that teaches a lesson, because stories, by their inherent nature, will teach a lesson anyway. It's the lesson you, as a reader, decide to lear; not the one I'm shoving down your throat."
I wish more author would think like that.