DNF around 100 pages. Such an interesting concept, but man, is the main character a whiner. I get it, he's supposed to have this crushing guilt and reDNF around 100 pages. Such an interesting concept, but man, is the main character a whiner. I get it, he's supposed to have this crushing guilt and regret (view spoiler)[after too-perfect-to-be-real Connor dies (hide spoiler)] and presumably he grows up at some point. But he reacts so negatively in rejecting so many things (trivial and major), and he makes so many assumptions (in what people are thinking about him, their motivations, their plans, etc), that he just wasn't a character I cared about or was interested in sticking around for. Do or think ONE thing that is surprising or fascinating or endearing or doesn't make me sigh with impatience, please.
I skimmed the last couple of chapters, and....meh.
I also didn't love the writing style. The way information was relayed was occasionally confusing, and I guess I can take glistening tears if I must, but I would never think to look at a Post-It note and call it "crisp." A couple of times I was also startled by exclamation points within the narration--it's sort of a jarring thing within a teenage boy's headspace, and the situations didn't really seem to merit them. It felt juvenile and excitable.
But if language doesn't bother you and if you read mostly for plot, maybe you'll like this better than I did. I'm just disappointed this wasn't the great YA science fiction book I was looking for. It's been awhile, so I hope we get one soon.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
P.S. The reference to IF I STAY in the blurb really pisses me off, though. Come on, now. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 stars That blurb is convoluted, isn't it? But while I think the characterization could be a little more complex, I liked this.
-- a prot3.5 stars That blurb is convoluted, isn't it? But while I think the characterization could be a little more complex, I liked this.
-- a protagonist who isn't the standout "smart" or "strong" one in a BFF trio that includes two popular girls, but one who thinks through what's happening and is involved in plausible sleuthing -- that same protagonist definitely grows throughout the story as well -- lesbian/gay relationships handled in a matter-of-fact way -- diverse characters and relationships.
A little questionable:
-- some specifics of the mystery ask for a bit of a pass (the timelines for declaring someone missing or dead, does everyone other than Kalah take everything they're told at face value? That sort of thing) -- the interactions with police are pretty typical and uninteresting, and kind of didn't go anywhere -- a little more history and complexity in the characters and their motivations would have made this more interesting.
Still, this kept me interested throughout, while I guessed what was going in early on, the plot progressed in a way that that didn't even matter. I also really, really liked the ending. Ambiguity! Open-ended! Leaves you wondering! Doesn't tie up everything in a bow! Yay.
All in all, a short, fast-paced mystery that doesn't succumb to the obvious. I think teenagers in particular will love it.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review....more