The Tension of Opposites
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The Tension of Opposites

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  823 ratings  ·  152 reviews
When Tessa's best friend Noelle disappears right before the start of eighth grade, Tessa's life changes completely--she shies away from her other friends and stops eating in the cafeteria. Now, two years later, Noelle has escaped her captivity and is coming home, in one piece but not exactly intact, and definitely different. Tessa's life is about to change again as she tri...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by EgmontUSA (first published May 25th 2010)
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Sara Grochowski
The Tension of Opposites is one of those novels that pulls you in from the first lines and refuses to let you go until you've read every last word. Devour is almost too tame a word to describe how quickly I read this novel... inhale might be a better fit. It's always a magical experience when a reader finds an author whose writing style fits perfectly with his or her preferences - and I'm happy to say that I experienced that magic with Tension.

I feel that I should mention that the the descripti...more
Steph Su
THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES is one of the nicest contemporary realistic YA fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. This is a great achievement by debut author Kristina McBride, easy readable, and full of relatable characters and turbulent emotions.

Kristina McBride’s writing pulls us into Tessa’s world from the very first page, and carefully explores the pain and confusion of the effects of trauma on a friendship. Tessa’s struggles to balance her own happiness with that of her friend’s is extremely...more
Nic
I really enjoy Tension of Opposites. It is a great debut novel!

Tension of Opposites is the story of Tessa who best friend Noelle was abducted two years ago. Since then Tessa has became shy and withdraw, the only thing in her life is taking photographs. Then one day Cooper, Noelle's brother, meets with Tessa telling her that Noelle is alive and coming back. Tessa can't believe she will finally have her best friend back. But when Noelle returns she begins to realize life can never go back to the w...more
Lori (Pure Imagination)
Apr 22, 2010 Lori (Pure Imagination) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lori (Pure Imagination) by: grumpybear17@msn.com
How would you feel if your best friend was kidnapped? You never knew what happened to her. She could be dead. She could be in a cage in someone's basement. Now, how would you feel if your best friend was found after two years? That's the story of Tess and Elle.

I was expecting this book to be a bit more dark and twisty than it was. There was a lot of opportunity for it to be dark but there was romance instead. I didn't mind, actually. I found myself a bit more interested in the romance story line...more
Katelyn
When I heard that Kristina McBride got her inspiration for this novel from a real kidnapping that took place I became hesitant to read it. I know it isn't right to want to remain ignorant of the horrors that happen on a daily basis in the world, but sometimes I have to block it all out to be able to sleep at night. Meeting Tessa in this book, who's best friend Noelle was kidnapped and then came home after two years was interesting. Tessa felt as if she couldn't move forward because of what happe...more
Erica
I have to admit that this book was four material even leading to a 5 in the beginning but I guess it did not make that mark becuase the story did not go the way that I thought it was going to. It took a different path, the description of the book was a bit misleading and I thought that it was going to be an action packed novel, when it wasn't. Do not get me wrong I really enjoyed this book and the story that it told it was really cute and sometimes sepenseful, but I was always able to tell that...more
Jennifer
Read my full review here.

Bottom Line – if I had to sum up The Tension of Opposites using only two words I would use, Brave Love. These two innocuous little words, usually, I will admit, not seen together, can encompass an ocean, drag up feelings, sometimes we would rather not give voice to. But, they fit – like your grandparents hands fit inside each other, each worn in away that complements the other, allowing warmth, desire, and love to seep into each crack, line and bend.

Elle and Tessa are p...more
Andrea
First of all, let me say that I liked the premise of this story. I had never heard of Stockholm Syndrome (where the person who has been abducted shows signs of loyalty to the kidnapper) so it was neat to read about this in the story (although Elle claimes that she did not experience this).

But I'm not too sure about other parts of the story. For example, I just plain didn't like Elle. Yes, I know she just went through something traumatic, for two years, but to me, she just plain seem like a bitc...more
erica
This book was so REAL. I felt like this could happen to anyone, a friend, a sister. I think that's what scared me the most. The relationships were handled expertly. The one between Noelle and Tessa was especially written so well. I believed that the behavior Noelle was projecting would be what someone in her situation would be like. It broke my heart at times. The way Noelle reacted to certain situations, but then again, I didn't blame her. Their relationship was complex yet held an underlining...more
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
The Tension of Opposites was a heartbreaking story about the aftermath of a kidnapping. The distress and raw emotions behind the plot was perfectly executed. News channels always mention kidnappings but, they don't normally focus on the victim's state of mind. So, I admired that Kristina took that route. I enjoyed picking through the ups and downs of Noelle's mind. Tessa, Noelle's best friend, was a fantastic character. I loved her determination and continuous support for Noelle. It's hard to se...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Tessa and Noelle had been best friends for as long as either could remember. They were ripped apart two years ago when Noelle disappeared. All that was left was her bike abandoned on the sidewalk. For two years, Tessa spent every waking moment thinking about Noelle and missing her. She carried on but refused to enjoy life without her best friend.

Suddenly, life has changed. Noelle has returned. Against the predicted odds from law enf...more
Zooey Riveria
This is truly one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Ever.

The whole time I was flipping through the pages, there was like this ball of emotions choking up my windpipe and my tears forced themselves to come out, but they couldn't. The emotions packed into these 277 pages were so overwhelming, so raw and so real. Descriptions were really vivid, like how the author could convey a person's every little action into words, making the characters so easy to relate to. Adored her writing style, I...more
Heather Kegler
FULL REVIEW WILL BE POSTED ON BOOK-SAVVY 8/8/10: What an absolutely enthralling and well-written book! I have to say I didn't know whether I'd like this book since I'm more into fantasy, but once I made it through the first chapter, I couldn't put it down. I actually read this in TWO days. The flawless depth of the characters is realized through complex relationships and realistically iterated emotions. It's obvious Kristina McBride wrote this with a fiery passion for the subject. I closed this...more
Ab
This was a pretty typical teen drama complete with boys & girls; friends vs. boyfriends; high school grossness, etc. If you're into that kind of thing, this'll take you a couple hours to read with a pretty simplistic plot and writing style.
Audrey (The Reader in the Corner)
I really enjoyed this book at the beginning. It was definitely one of those books that made my heart ache for the main character and for her friend that got kidnapped. I do think it could have given a little more detail about her kidnapping because it doesn't seem like you ever know what truly happened in those years that Elle was held by her kidnapper. Towards the middlish it started to fizzle for me. It just became a love story between the main character and her boyfriend which wasn't what I w...more
Kari

Gripping, painful and emotional sum this book up at its core. A situation no parent or teen ever wants to find themselves in forms the basis of this book, playing out in a very raw way. For two years, Noelle has been held captive by a predator, doing unthinkable things to and with her- many of which the reader never finds out but learns enough to know Noelle never stood a chance of coming away unchanged. Calloused and numb, the reader gets only glimpses of the girl who was taken through her best...more
Crystal
I have really lucked out with my YA reading lately. Adding to my already huge number of glowing reviews this month is this one for The Tension of Opposites.


First I loved Tessa, I could relate with Tessa. No, I never had my best friend kidnapped, but know what it's like to be that girl, the one who doesn't make friends as easy, the one who is more introverted and one who keeps just a few good friends around. When Noelle is kidnapped, Tessa retreats into herself and into her photography, with only...more
Lauren
For the most part, debut books always blow my mind. And Kristina's McBride's debut titled The Tension of Opposites? Well, it was no different of course, because when it comes down to it, this book is a keeper. It's chilling, romantic, well-written, and makes the reader think- four qualities that always make a book a star in my opinion!

From the first page, you are thrown into Tessa's life, the friend and girl left to be forgotten after her best friend's disappearance four years prior. And Tessa'...more
Katie
For someone who grew up watching true crime and investigation shows, I was a bit nervous that this book would be completely unrealistic and dolled up for the pages. Fortunately, Kristina McBride did her research. The Tension Of Opposites was mysterious, intense and very real.

We didn’t get much of a glimpse into Tessa’s life while Noelle was missing, but when she comes home, it’s a whirlwind of drama and emotions as she tries to rebuild her friendship with Noelle, who doesn’t want anything to do...more
Jennie Smith
This has to be one of my new favorite YA books. McBride has done an amazing job with this debut and I can’t pump it up enough. I felt like I was with Tessa the entire novel through every step of what she was going through. She is a completely believable character and I loved hearing the story from the best friends’ perspective. Often times we forget that there are others left behind who are just as hurt when someone disappears as the family and McBride has done a phenomenal job describing Tessa’...more
Alisha Marie
I have to start out by saying that The Tension of Opposites followed Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott for me, so that probably hurt my rating of this book as that one was pretty great and this one just fell short. Just thought I'd mention in that in the interest of full disclosure. Anyway, back to The Tension of Opposites, I thought that this book was just okay. I don't fully understand why I didn't love it, it's just that I felt like I was going through it for the sake of going through it. I...more
Amanda
When I first heard about this book, it sounded like any other kidnapping book. I was wrong. Turns out it was so much more. It tells not only the story of Noelle coming home and her recovery, but also the recovery of her family and Tessa, her best friend from before the incident. The entire book is in Tessa’s point of view and follows her on her journey of self-discovery after holding herself back for the two years that Noelle was gone. We also learn some of the things that Noelle went through w...more
Linda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa
When Noelle disappeared two years ago, Tessa stopped living. It just didn’t feel right for her to go on, do things her best friend would not do, experience things her best friend would never experience. Since then, she has had few friends, and none of them are close. Until she finds out that Noelle is alive, and is finally coming home, finally escaping from the man who held her captive for two long years. Now Tessa hopes things can go back to the way they were, that their friendship can pick up...more
Lea (YA Book Queen)
When Noelle, or now Elle, shows up after being kidnapped two years later, Tessa's world begins to change. The girl she used to know just isn't the same: she's harsher, more distant, and even looks different.

But Tessa refuses to let their friendship drift away, even when at first Noelle wants nothing to do with her. I can't even imagine what both girls went through, and the people that have actually lived this. On the one side, you've got Tessa, who lost her best friend and consequently felt hor...more
Jenny / Wondrous Reads

The Tension of Opposites is a thought-provoking debut novel that covers the very serious subject of child kidnapping. It's not quite as graphic as other novels following a similar theme (like Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl, for example), which could be seen as more of a good thing than bad.

The story is told by kidnap survivor Noelle's best friend Tessa, so it's her thoughts and observations that we're presented with. She notices countless differences in Noelle after her return, and tries to...more
Keyona
Ever since Noelle disappeared Tessa pretty much disappeared as well......mentally. She couldn't live her life as normal while worrying about what happened to Noelle. So she decided not to live her life at all but to simply exist. No dating, hanging out, meeting new friends, school dances, or anything that might be considered fun.

When Noelle came back, all of my questions were answered slowly throughout the rest of the book; how he kidnapped her, how she escaped, what sick things he did to her an...more
Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sydney
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
This book is amazing! It's definitely a must-read of 2010.

In the beginning, McBride gets you into the book. Within the first chapter, you have questions and you're wondering what is going to happen. You're hooked from the first page of the book, until the very end.

The characters were very well written. McBride keeps you wondering about a few of their deep, dark secrets. She doesn't just hand over why they act the way they do on a platter, you have to keep reading and guessing to figure it out....more
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Is this worth the read? 5 8 Aug 27, 2012 05:50PM  
why i need to read this. 2 9 Jul 24, 2011 10:30AM  
Wild Things: YA G...: The Tension of Opposites 3 16 Jul 20, 2010 02:18PM  
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Kristina McBride has published two novels for young adults - The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. Her third YA novel, A Million Times Goodnight, will be released in the fall of 2015. Kristina is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest. Kristina has a thing for music, trees, purses, and chocolate. You might be surp...more
More about Kristina McBride...
One Moment A Million Times Goodnight

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“It wasn’t enough, just knowing that Noelle was alive and on her way back to us. So I sat there wondering if Noelle had screamed when she was taken. And if she had, why hadn’t anyone heard?” 8 likes
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