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Send by Patty Blount
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Jul 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read from July 11 to 13, 2012

This review is for an advanced reader's copy.

What impressed me most about this book was the way that Patty Blount handled the intense, hard-hitting scenes. While I can't say that I thought she was always on point with her writing, she did do an amazing job with the really emotional scenes, especially within the last 100 pages of the book. How the characters acted, what they said...by the end, I felt horrible for Dan Kenny and relieved that there may be hope. The final couple of chapters left me glued to my seat, and there was one moment where I actually pulled away from the book because I did not want to know what was about to happen.

I thought the pace was a bit off, though, and the story seemed to drag at times. The dialogue also came off as unnatural in some scenes because I didn't feel it was really how teenager's would speak to each other. The characters did get kind of annoying, especially Julie (and especially especially Dan and Julie's interactions). The back-and-forth romance plot line took away from the main one that I was more interested in, which was Dan overcoming his guilt for his past transgression. I wanted to see that delved into more, but instead half of the story seemed too focused on their blooming, dysfunctional relationship. I got tired of it really quick, after the second or third time the same chain of general events happened - everything was fine, then all of a sudden one of them would overreact over something that didn't seem like a realistic trigger, then Dan would be really pissed off. It just got old fast.

But I thought she did a decent job wrapping it up. I was really surprised at the end, regardless of the obvious hints throughout. Blount did a good job convincing me and leading me off the trail that I immediately suspected the story would take. I was pretty upset with the ending, though, as it seemed unfinished and unresolved. I wanted more about the closure, and once again she brought it back to the love story and focused on that. I think this book had great potential to be a much deeper analysis of overcoming guilt and forgiving yourself, but instead it sacrificed that depth for the romance aspect.

Maybe there will be more to the ending in the published version (I guess I'll find out in a month). For now, I still gave it four stars because I believe that Blount has promise and the scenes that I was most interested in and that I thought were most important were done extremely well. I would still recommend it to someone, regardless of my problems with the romance.
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