**spoiler alert** There's something intrinsically sad about a book that starts off with teenage suicide. What's even more sad about this book Is tryin**spoiler alert** There's something intrinsically sad about a book that starts off with teenage suicide. What's even more sad about this book Is trying to figure out with Cody how exactly her best friendship with Meg fell apart over the course of just a few months, so much so that she wasn't even aware that Meg was depressed enough to be seriously considering suicide.
Of course Cody had her reasons for drawing away from Meg - it seemed like Meg had everything and was getting the life they both always wanted, but Cody could only dream of. Of course, things often aren't how they seem. It comes as a shock to Cody when she finds out that Meg had been battling depression and suicidal thoughts since high school, but we as readers can see it coming a mile away. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20, and it's easy to look back and say, if Meg and her parents had been more honest with Cody about Meg's early struggles, maybe she would have seem more warning signs along the way. But it's possible that things would have turned out exactly the same.
I have mixed feelings about Cody and Ben's relationship. First of, I am a skeptic. Their relationship was way too deep too quickly, and I was actually a little relieved when she broke of contact with him. In the end, though, I was grateful that Cody had someone like Ben to be there for her when she was spiraling in her obsession with catching the guy whom she blamed for Meg's death. Yeah, their relationship started messy, and had a lot of messy, confusing moments. But nothing is perfect.
Also, how awesome was Cody's mom in the end? She spent so much time not being a very good mom, but she sure pulled through when it mattered most.
Cody's hunt of the online predator (I can think of nothing else to call him) who encouraged Meg towards suicide was almost scary at times. She didn't seem to have any regard for her own safety, and in her attempts to attract his attention, there were times when she seemed to teeter right on the edge of her own depression. The only positive that came of Cody's hunt is that hopefully __ will be held in some way accountable for Meg's death, and he at least won't be able to talk anyone else into doing something similar.
I guess the main thing to take from a book like this is: hug your loved ones. Pay attention to them and listen to them. Be there for them. Don't live life with regret. For those who are battling depression, please remember you have people that love you. Life is worth living. Just make it one more day....more
**spoiler alert** This book definitely surprised me, and that's always a good thing. When I finally figured out what was going on, I actually flipped**spoiler alert** This book definitely surprised me, and that's always a good thing. When I finally figured out what was going on, I actually flipped back and re-read sections of the book. It's hard to even write about it, because the things that frustrated me about this book, like wanting to yell at the sisters for not just sucking it up and talking to one another, were rendered inapplicable at the end.
(view spoiler)[Once we find out that Dara is actually dead, and Nick has been projecting as her the whole time, all the lack of communication makes sense. What I wonder now instead, is how much of summer "Dara's" feelings about Nick and Parker were real, and how much were Nick's projections of her own guilt and how she thought Dara would have felt? We are clued somewhat into how she felt by the flashbacks and her journal entries, but is there a way to know for sure what is real and what is imagined? I'm not sure that line is so easily identifiable.
The other part that seemed a little weak was the whole Madeleine Snow disappearance. Would a 10 year old really have the foresight to be so afraid for their life that instead of running to the safety of their parents in a situation like that, they would hide by themselves in abandoned foods and steal food for over a week? Nick "finding" her was less a "she was lost and couldn't get home" situation and more of a "hey, the bad guy is caught and also don't be so crazy" situation.
It seemed like Madeleine was only included in the story because there needed to be a way to shock Nick into "looking" for her sister and recovering her memories of the crash, not because their stories were that similar.
I also couldn't figure out what Dara starting working those private parties in the first place. It didn't seem like she needed the money. Was it just looking for excitement? Or a general dissatisfaction with her life? Or a way to distinguish herself from her seemingly perfect sister?
I am a little disappointed with Parker as well. I'm not sure "I didn't know what to do or how to stop!" is an excuse for making out with and dating and breaking the heart repeatedly of a girl when you've sort of known all along that you're in love with her sister, your (former) best friend. The right thing to do would have been to gently push her away when she kissed you the first time, and explain that you're willing to be there for her, but not in a romantic, physical way.
But of course, a book needs conflict, because otherwise it has no substance. (hide spoiler)]
All in all, I definitely enjoyed this one. I read most of it on a plane ride from LA to Seattle, and then stayed up to finish it that night, because I wanted to know what was going to happen. And I totally cried at the end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more