You should all know that I won this book on Twitter. That’s right. I won it. In case you were wondering, I’ve never won anything on Twitter before. In fact, I rarely win anything ever when it comes to contests or gambling or other such things. So this was rather exciting for me. Weirdly enough, it took me a little over a month to get around to reading it (my TBR pile is just absurd). It finally happened this week though!
This book was an interesting reading experience for me. I started it at a time where no book could hold my attention and nothing was good enough. As I expected, the book started out with me disliking most of it. I don’t even really know why I disliked it, I just did. I thought it would be one of those overwhelmingly depressing and angst-filled books that entwined a love story into it. For most of the beginning, my prediction was fairly accurate but at least it had a plot line that I didn’t mind reading.
The story revolves around a rape case. Mikey’s sister is accusing Ellie’s brother of raping her. The book is told from both Mikey and Ellie’s perspectives, both of whom have never met until this incident. The entire story is an interesting mix of family loyalties, doing the right thing, first loves, and growing up faster than one should. I guess this combination kept me interested enough to not toss it aside for a new attempt. I’m glad I didn’t, because I ended up reading the book pretty intently all day till I had finished!
On the streetcar this morning, I thought to myself, “It’s not a terrible book, but I’m probably going to rate it with 2 snitches”. The fact that the book kept me so intrigued and actually got significantly better towards and after the middle, totally earned it a higher rating. The characters got more believable and less one-dimensional, including the secondary characters. In fact, some of the secondary character behaviours quite surprised me! I liked watching them all slowly show more layers to their personalities. I thought the sexual tension between the Mikey and Ellie was very well-portrayed. It’s obvious they’re going to get together and when something is that stark, you don’t expect there to be a lot of excitement. I found myself looking forward to their encounters and liking them more as individuals when they were together. I especially appreciated how their power dynamic kept shifting. Usually books like these have very defined roles as to what the girl means to this relationship and what the boy means in turn. Mikey and Ellie definitely had a hold over each other, but they were both vulnerable and complex characters. Neither one could save the other alone, it was a dynamic that adjusted according to need. It was refreshing to see this sort of take on the teenage romance.
This book had no plot twists and I still found it intriguing enough to keep me second guessing people’s moves and thoughts. It’s not until the end that you really figure out whether the rape was committed or not. There were enough hints and tips, but I liked that there was no final answer until the end. Though it’s based on the heavy subject of rape, the book was more character-centric than plot-centric. You’d expect something like this to get preachy at parts, and so I greatly appreciated it when it didn’t. I really have to congratulate this book on the whole, because it’s rare to turn around this well for me! I wouldn’t rave about it, but I do acknowledge that it kept me more interested than anything else has in almost a month.