(I received a free copy of this book, through NetGalley, in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I have some very mixed feelings about this book. In the end, I’ve given it four stars because, despite how truly depressing this book was, I found myself drawn completely into this storyline and the characters involved.
The plotline of this book was a really intriguing one, but it was much darker than I was expecting it to be. The warnings contained in the blurb were definitely not to be taken lightly. By the end of the book, I found myself getting quite choked up.
I liked reading about Damien’s friendships that he formed with the other characters in the school. I especially liked Joey as a character, even though he began to decline very quickly through the course of the book.
For a lot of the book, I liked Kaiden’s relationship with Damien, though I would have liked to see more of their interactions. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about him by the end of the book… but I kind of hope that he’s still what he seemed at first. And hearing about his past just made me feel really sorry for him as well as many of the other characters.
Parts of this book did feel almost like a soap opera, considering just how many bad things happened in this small area. A lot of the situations were linked, though, and it was good to see that there was fallout from what happened and that the characters didn’t just brush off the bad events that happened.
There were a number of things in this book that were really quite emotional and that I thought could have been great for character development if they’d gone a different way. It was good that the author didn’t shy away from the harsh reality… but at the same time, I would have liked something that was a little bit more hopeful.
If there’s a sequel to this book, I would probably check it out at some point in the future. I’d like to see how things turn out with the characters and it would be nice to see where the author takes this world next.