Frances May was aboard the Persephone, a luxury yacht, when it was attacked. She was one of only three people to survive, one of the only people who kFrances May was aboard the Persephone, a luxury yacht, when it was attacked. She was one of only three people to survive, one of the only people who know the truth about what really happened that night. She's determined to expose the lies surrounding the Persephone - even if that means taking down the boy she'd fallen in love with and losing who she is in the process.
I wasn't too sure what to expect going into this book. It sounded like it could be a twisty, surprising, book of revenge that could be addicting to read or it could be more of a bad soap opera. I thought it ended up about in the middle of the two. It wasn't as twisty as I expected, or the twists were predictable, but it wasn't soap opera-like as it could have been. There were a lot of times it reminded me of the show Revenge.
Frances was a complicated character, which I liked. I got her reasoning for wanting revenge and for wanting someone to pay for what happened that night, for wanting the truth out there. She lost almost everything in the attack and she was so laser-focused on bringing down the people she was convinced were responsible for the death of her friend. She wasn't concerned in who she hurt to achieve her goal and there were times when she crossed many lines. There were times when she was pretty unlikeable but everything she did and the way she acted was done with revenge in mind.
I had a hard time with the romance in the book. Frances was fourteen and they knew each other for a week before the attack. The boy, Grey and his father were lying about the attack and she wanted to expose them, but I was supposed to buy into an epic romance between them. I just couldn't. Even if Grey could somehow, miraculously, redeem himself for lying, they still knew almost nothing about each other.
I liked the flashbacks to Frances' time on the ship. They showed a little of the beginnings of a romance between her and Grey, something that could have developed into more, they showed parts of the horrific attack, they showed a survival aspect of Frances and her friend Libby. What they went through was terrifying and it showed how strong Frances was to survive. I thought these scenes added a lot of depth to Frances as a character.
The whole book did require a little suspension of disbelief but it was also entertaining in the same vein as watching the show Revenge....more
On the outside, Samantha McAllister looks just like every other popular girl in school. Beneath her carefully perfected appearance, she hides a secretOn the outside, Samantha McAllister looks just like every other popular girl in school. Beneath her carefully perfected appearance, she hides a secret. She has Purely-Obsessional OCD and can't turn off the dark thoughts that plagued her without warning. Her friends turn their backs for something as minor as wearing the wrong outfit so Sam can't let them know about her OCD. When Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep their new friendship a secret or risk losing the protection of the popular group. Caroline quickly becomes Sam's rock and introduces her to Poet's Corner, a room hidden away from everything else where kids, outcasts, come together to form a tight-knit group. Sam feels drawn to them and can't stop thinking about the boy with the guitar whose words spoke to her. Slowly, she starts to feel more like she belongs with this group than with her popular friends. Could she be getting better or is everything going to start crumbling down?
The best way to describe how I felt while reading this book? It consumed me. I loved the writing, I loved the premise, I loved the characters, I was high invested in Sam's journey. I just didn't want to stop reading until I'd read the last page. This was on my list of highly anticipated books for 2015 and I'm so happy I wasn't disappointed.
Samantha quickly became a favourite character. I could understand her fear of being found out by her friends and her reasoning for staying within their protection. Her friendship with that group, nicknamed the Crazy 8s, was not healthy for her but there were so many good memories that I completely got Sam not wanting to break away from that. She started off the book insecure, especially at her place within the Crazy 8s, and later within Poet's Corner. It was great to see her slowly gaining confidence to stand up for herself and to expose her writing to her new group. It was little steps but important steps that lead to so much character growth.
I loved her friendship with Caroline. She was exactly what Sam needed to start breaking away from the Crazy 8s and get involved with the group at Poet's Corner. There was always an easy-to-talk-to feel to their friendship and nothing but support. I also completely loved the slow developing romance between Sam and A.J. From the moment they met, I was waiting for something to happen but I'm glad it was slow. A.J. just seemed like he got Sam and they fit well together. So many of the minor characters, especially those in Poet's Corner, played roles in Sam's growth and had their own small moments. Sydney, Emily, Abigail, Cameron, the poems they read exposed the reader to their struggles and their feelings just as much as A.J.'s songs and Sam's writing.
The plot did take some unexpected twists that I didn't see coming until right before it was revealed. There was a brief moment of suspicion then the jaw dropped. It was fantastic and it hurt and I won't say any more.
Definitely a book worth checking out.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more