This is one of those instances where a book title and its cover are what led me to reading a book. I had heard of the author’s other work, but this is the one that grabbed my attention. I have to say that for once I’m glad that I really didn’t read the blurb because it would have been spoilerish in this instance. Instead of the edgy raw discovery of things as they happened which was my experiences, I would have been watching for some things that the blurb revealed. Okay, enough about all that. This story was haunting and breathtaking. It will stay with me for some time to come. I would say it is because of the superb storytelling and compelling characters- which they are, but really it was that ending. I was flabbergasted and then I was angry. I wanted more. I think there needs to be a support group or something of that nature for those of us who need to talk through our feelings at the conclusion of these sorts of books. My imagination tries to give me the closure and ending I need which I suppose is part of the point of that ending.
The story is about three bosom friends who come of age together. It is told first person point of view from both Ashlin and Hunter’s perspectives leaving Chance as the enigma. Ashlin and Hunter are half siblings who come to visit their dad every summer and take up an idyllic friendship with Chance the boy they meet, befriend and make their own. They are inseparable, but Chance is the one who keeps a part of himself back. Though they are all three in the forefront, this really is Chance’s story as the author points out in the afterward. For much of the book, it is a gentle pacing through their lives all along there is an ominous quality that grows darker until the menace is in the open. There is also a dawning realization for Ashlin and Hunter of how things truly between them all. Hunter’s journey to his truth is probably the most joyful part of the story. Truth is impossible to separate from lies in the end, but the lies bear some acquaintance with the truth too.
I know I have been vague with that summary and I did it on purpose. It was just such a moving story that deserves to tell itself and wow people with the way it impresses itself on them. There is camaraderie, relationships breaking, building and remolding. Family situations that will just break the heart in their stark realities, but also a ray of hope in the way these teens redefine who family really is and who they love. Each character is beautifully drawn. I loved getting into their heads and being a part of their thinking, emotions and actions.
For my suggestions, this would be appropriate for mid teens and older. There is stronger language and one theme is abuse. There is no sex, but there is a mild m/m romantic theme.
Those who enjoy starker, haunting and raw stories that are stronger on character and milder on romance should give this one a try.
My thanks to Entangled Teen for providing my copy of the book for review purposes.