by Michelle Hodkin
The Short Story
Mara wakes up in the hospital and has no idea why she's there. When she finds out there was an accident that killed her friends, but left her unhurt, she and her family move to Florida to start over. But the accident keeps coming back to haunt Mara, and soon she can't tell what's really happening and what is brought on by her PTSD. Great start, interesting finish, but a disappointing middle.
What I liked:
This book has a great beginning. There's such a creepy feeling as Mara tries to figure out why she went where she did with her friends, and how they ended up dying when she didn't. Her flashbacks are scary, and one of my favorite parts of the book.
But what I really liked was being in Mara's mind. She's gone through such traumatic things that her mind begins to play tricks on her. Her new school crumbles to the ground, she sees her dead friends in mirrors, she has scary adventure hallucinations. I could never tell what was actually real as I read the book, and that was a lot of fun. It reminded me of the movie "A Beautiful Mind," and if you liked that, the beginning of the book will definitely appeal to you.
Don't Think About This Too Hard
- The middle of this book did not work for me. Noah felt like a mix of Marcus Flutie and Edward Cullen, and I was not interested in his relationship with Mara. Then the book went down strange paths and introduced some elements that I didn't think fit with what was laid out at the beginning. I wanted to read more of a mystery/thriller, and less of a love story.
- A couple of plot points get left dangling, but I assume they'll come back again in the sequels. I guess?
The Big Three:
Language: consistent profanity, including several f-words
Sex and Stuff: some kissy scenes
Violence: a few gory descriptions of injuries and dead bodies; one character drinks blood