I was so excited about this book - and even more excited when Crystal let me borrow it! It's about Tessa whose best friend was abuducted two years ago. Everyone thought she was dead, but in the first pages of the book, she escapes her captor and comes home. Tessa is thrilled to have her best friend back, but in the past two years Noelle has changed. Tessa has put her life on hold waiting for Noelle to come back, but now that she's returned, things aren't the way she had imagined. There's the basic premise.
The story was good, but it really didn't live up to what I had anticipated. It wasn't bad and it was a quick, entertaining read, but I just didn't like most of the characters. And the main character seemed really self-centered. Maybe I'm wrong and she responds the way most teenage girls would respond in those situations, but it just seemed not quite right to me. My main pet peeve though was the depiction of the teenage male characters. With the exception of (who else?) Tessa's love interest and Noelle's brother, every single teenage male is scum. They are only interested in popularity, money, sex, and drugs. Except for Tessa's love interest of course. He is mature, responsible, hot, kind, loving, selfless, and doesn't even care about sex. Right. Either way, I think the depiction of 17 year old boys as either heartless and depraved or perfectly understanding and sensitive (but incredibly hot) is a little bit off.
My favorite roll-your-eyes moment was when the "good" guy tells Tessa that she should take off her shirt and lay down with him, not because he wants to see her boobies or because he has any sexual desire, but because he just wants to feel her skin against his. And she can see in her eyes that it's true. Barf. Am I completely cynical or is it hard for anyone else to believe that a 17 year old boy just wants his topless girlfriend to snuggle so they can feel close? Right. Nothing sexual about that.
I'm not saying I hated the book, but it just didn't ring true for me. It was entertaining and I read it quickly and was into it, but it wasn't a book I'll remember. One thing I did appreciate - the main character had loving, involved parents who knew what she was up to, met the boy she was dating, had rules, and generally cared about their daughter. You don't see a whole lot of that in YA fiction right now.
If you do read this one, check out the discussion taking place on Forever Young, my friend Jessica's YA blog. The details are in this post - it's taking place June 28th and 29th and will not only feature book discussion, but some interaction with the author! It's going to be lots of fun, and I'll be participating - you should too!