I know there are mixed reviews out there on this one, and honestly I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. On a small level, this is the story of two sisters that suffer the devastating effects of becoming nouveau rich. On a much larger and deeper level, however, this is a story of sibling rivalry… and that story is dark and troubled.
Thea is the younger sister tired living in Alex’s shadow. She has developed this image of what her life should be like and it eats away at her. It consumes her, really. Thea’s story sucks you in from the beginning. She is so screwed up that you can’t help but continue to read because you want to find out where that train wreck is heading. And what a train wreck she is! Is she crazy? Yes, but that’s an understatement. Border line psychotic? Oh yeah. Pathological liar? Mmm, yep. An endangerment to herself and those around her? Right again! Like I said, complete train wreck.
While Thea’s highly disturbing story unfolds, the mystery surrounding Alex’s neurosis also unravels. You can tell that Alex was once this amazing person (that probably wasn’t too likeable), but her unfortunate “event” has left her scared and damaged. So is so damaged, in fact, that she is allowing herself to fade away—literally. She’s got a plate full of issues to handle too!
So yes, I thought the story behind these two sisters was very interesting. Compelling even. I was captivated for the most part. But the other characters did not hit the mark for me, and I think they took away from the book as a whole. For starters, Alex’s boyfriend was a douche bag. Barf. I understand the purpose he played, but geez. Then there was Xander… I really liked Xander, but the whole Alex-Xander “thing” was too rushed. It happened so quickly. In one paragraph the entire orbit of this book changed and I wasn’t fully buying it. Sorry. I’m happy with the ending. I think it worked, even if it left a lot of questions unanswered. I can certainly say there is no neat little bow ending to annoy you, and that is commendable.
Overall, I think what could have been a phenomenal story was rushed in places, which ultimately took away from the force of the story between the covers. It was still a good read for older YA readers, but not my favorite in this genre.