Author: Edith Pattou
Publication: August 19th 2014 by Skyscape
Source: I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in return for a fair review.
My first impressions of this book were less than stellar. It is written in verse, which I find difficult and confusing to read. However, after the story started going and the characters distinguished themselves, I really loved the writing style. I enjoyed how Pattou manages to write the different voices of each character so perfectly. They are distinguished and easy to identify. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t work it out first of all, It will get there eventually.
On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.
Maxine, the outsider of the friendship group, is very well written. I almost see her as the primary narrator, even if everyone contributes equally. She is new to the school and has recently moved back to the area, which makes her a perfect observer for the goings on. I think her thoughts and feelings were captured perfectly; whilst the story is a bit out there, she is still very relatable.
I like how the divide between before and after is quite apparent in the tone of the writing; the characters certainly show very human reactions to tragedy. The book is never ‘preachy’ or condescending Instead it takes a look at the behaviors of teenagers and the consequences of their actions.
There were a few loose ends that could have been tied up. But the actual story was well put together. I was a little bit disappointed when it finished because it didn’t take me that long to read. maybe it was a good thing that it finished quite quickly, I did enjoy the air of the unknown regarding what would happen to these characters in the future.
I’ve read some of Pattou’s work before and I loved it. I am glad that I was not disappointed. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a coming of age story with a twist.