4.5 Stars. I'm deducting 1/2 star because I found the book a little confusing at the start when the chapters flipped back between before and after. Th4.5 Stars. I'm deducting 1/2 star because I found the book a little confusing at the start when the chapters flipped back between before and after. This refers to parts of the two sister’s story that happened before or after a horrible accident leaves Dara disfigured and lame and her older sister Nick dealing with the consequences of causing the accident. Now Dara won’t talk to Nick and the story is told in the sister’s alternating perspectives.
The before part is standard YA fare. The sister’s seem to both be involved with the same boy, Parker. This causes a wedge between the girls who are already in family crisis after their parent’s divorce and their father falling for a new woman. Then we get to the After. The ‘after’ story is quite strong, as we try to unravel the mystery of the disappearance of a young local girl as well as start working our way backwards to find out the cause of the accident. The two sisters don't talk to each other much as Dara who was always the popular sister holds Nick responsible for her injuries. But Nick wants to make things right between them again.
The story felt like a jumble of disconnected thread but I should have trusted the author all along. The ending comes together in a way that wraps up even the most insignificant thread. And there is a shocking twist that I never saw coming. It made me go back and reread certain scenes from my new and more informed point of view. The story is and emotionally charged story where the focus is more on family the many contemporary young adult novels are. Of course there are boys and other commonplace young adult themes but this one digs in deeper than most. One quick warning: teenagers in "vanishing girls" casually drink, do drugs, have sex, and use profanity. Overall this isn't done gratuitously but adds to the realistic feel of the novel....more
I loved this book. You will love this book too if you can just ignore from the start any and all scientific background given to explain how science caI loved this book. You will love this book too if you can just ignore from the start any and all scientific background given to explain how science can determine your deathdate (And I didn't see anywhere in this book that the success rate isn't 100% although it mentions a few people out there with undetermined dates). Then after you suspend your disbelief on the science of it, you need to suspend your disbelief on the governments involvement in which they mandate that every citizen must be tested. Good with doing all that?
Yes? Ok, read this book.
Denton has known since he was five years old that he would die when he was seventeen years old. Anyone who is sch eduled to die when they are under eighteen is known as an 'early'. When he is in elementary school he meets Paolo, who becomes his lifelong best friend when they bond over the fact that they are both earlies. In fact, Paolo will die a month after Denton. As the book opens Denton is waking up on the day of his Funeral. In this world, its a huge celebration of life where the deceased isn't actually deceased yet. In fact, Denton gives his own Eulogy. But even as the clock on Denton's life is winding down, he still has a heck of a lot of living to do. For starters, he awoke this morning in Paolo's sister Veronica's bed. Did they DO it? Also, did his girlfriend Taryn break up with him last night? Can he get his dad to tell him more about his deceased mother before he dies? Why has his mother's life always been such a secret? Who is this policeman that keeps stalking Denton? What is this growing purple bruise on his leg? Is this going to be his cause of death? Or is he going to die at the hands of the school bully?
I can't even believe how many times I laughed out loud while reading this book. But Denton's voice as a teenage facing his death just felt so natural and realistic. Yes, there are some unbelievable threads in the story but when you put those beside charming and relateable characters, suspension of belief becomes much easier.
All of that said, I felt like this book ended with many unresolved plot points and I haven't seen where there is a sequel planned but there really needs to be one. I will definitely pre-order a book with more Denton and company....more
As a fan of fairy tales and their retellings, I was very excited to read the newest re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, “A Wicked Thing”. Within the firstAs a fan of fairy tales and their retellings, I was very excited to read the newest re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, “A Wicked Thing”. Within the first chapter, Aurora awakes to her ‘true love’s’ kiss. But realistically she is very confused and freaked out by this strange young man kissing her awake. When she finds out she has slept for a hundred years, she is heartbroken. Her family has long since passed away but Aurora remembers the night she fell under the curse like it was just yesterday. And she herself remains un-aged. The prince and his family, the new King and Queen just expect her to wake right up and adjust to her new life. She is going to marry her prince right away and they can’t wait to announce it to the Kingdom. But Aurora is grieving and not one person takes time to look at her and acknowledge that. It is quite evident right away that everyone wants to use Aurora for their own gain. After all she is the famous sleeping princess of legends and she will raise magic in the kingdom again. But Aurora doesn’t hold magic, right? And she can’t magically make the kingdom love the new King or make their lives any better.
The opening is fantastic. The middle drags a bit and I became weary of the story. Aurora seems like a doormat for quite some time, just going along with whatever anyone says to do and questioning very little. I can excuse quite a lot of this because she truly is shocked and in mourning without one person who really cares about her. I did really like that there were three potential love interests for Aurora but she ended the book without a single one being an actual romantic interest (at least as of the end of this story). The middle really did meander along. But then the end became quite exciting again and was actually what the book should have been like all along. Aurora is a good person and yet everything feels stacked against her. She finally gets up the nerve to take matters into her own hands and force a change and it is great. I am on board for the sequel for sure however I feel like this book could have been stronger than it was....more