by Jen Larsen
Release Date: October 6th 2015
Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars
(This review may contain spoilers).
When I read the blurb of this book, I was immediately intrigued by the idea behind the plot. And when I began reading the book, I found myself sympathising with Ashley quite a lot. Although she seemed happy with herself (at least at first), I didn’t much like the way her grandmother tried to bribe her throughout the book. Despite the excuses Ashley tried to make for her grandmother, my opinion of her didn’t really change.
I liked the interactions I got to see between Ashley and her friends, but I did notice that not many of the students were expanded upon. Quite a few of them came across as ‘bit’ characters… and Morgan just seemed like a foil; there only to be an enemy to Ashley. Even towards the end of the book, I didn’t get the impression of many of the characters having lives outside of their interactions with Ashley… only really Laura; and Jolene, to a slightly lesser extent. It put me in mind of Marvel’s Wanda, whose children disappeared whenever she stopped thinking about them.
I think the strongest part of this story was the friendship between Ashley, Jolene and Laura… but I also thought her relationship with Hector was kind of sweet, even if I did get the impression she didn’t really want to be with him. At the same time, I was kind of happy with how she handled the situation with Brandon towards the end.
I did think the author handled Jolene very well. I actually found it easier to get angry for Jolene… though it was interesting to see the way she responded to that and how she didn’t want anyone to fight her battles for her. It was also interesting to see a different, more accepting side to Clara.
I liked seeing Ashley’s relationship with her father, but I would have liked to see more of her with her brothers. I did feel that the goals at the start of the book didn’t seem to come across as goals she really wanted… and I thought that the ending stayed true to that.
Speaking of the ending… I kind of felt it was rushed. There was a bit of a letdown, even though the ending was kind of a satisfactory one. In many ways, I felt like there was more of the story that could have been told.
I’d give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It’s not quite at the level of 4 stars… but I would be interested in reading more books by this author; and potentially a sequel to this book.