For some reason I thought there was a paranormal element to this book. I have no idea why that ever entered my mind—the synopsis gives no hint of anything paranormal related. I guess I’ve been so overwhelmed with all things supernatural lately, that I just assumed I was reading another book in the genre. Shame on me. In case you share my own folly, know that this is not a paranormal book. It’s a murder mystery mixed with a coming of age story.
I thought the author’s ability to mix two stories (from two different points of view) was brilliant. She did an amazing job making the story lines flow smoothly without seeming choppy. I was engrossed with Becca’s story from the first chapter. Her piece of crap boyfriend made my blood boil. (Read that first chapter and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) I spent most of the book waiting for Becca to realize how crappy her boyfriend was. I’m not sure if that’s how I was supposed to feel or not, but he definitely struck a nerve with me. Of course, he did have a few redeeming qualities. I couldn’t help but feel a tug at my heart when he described his mom’s death from cancer. His compassion for other people’s suffering becomes clear in the end (even if he is a slug to his girlfriend).
Mixed within the pages of Becca’s story is Amelia’s own tragic tale. When she finally realizes what she wants to be, it’s too much for those around her. The effects are tragic. In a way, the book is the coming of age story for two girls (un-coming of age story for the one that dies?). Both girls, Becca and Amelia, struggle with figuring out where they belong in the world and how the people they love fit into the puzzle. Both girls deal with horrendous heartache and life changing events... except one of them never gets the chance to grow from the experience.
Enough about the characters and the plot. Let’s talk about what really made this book special: the author’s writing. Her descriptions! Sigh. She has an eye for detail, that’s for sure. Her writing had a poetic element to it that made me think of prose at times. There were parts that were simply beautiful. It’s hard to believe that this was the author’s debut book. She is certainly talented, and I’m excited to see what else she will write in the future.