Harper Collins, 2015
Nick and Dara are sisters and best friends. Or they were. Ever since they were in a car accident together that Nick can barely remember, they haven't been speaking. Their family is disintegrating, it was before the accident, and their relationships with Parker, Nick's other best friend and Dara's ex, hang in an uncomfortable limbo. It's time for the ordeal of making peace and moving on.
This is a book that demands to be read multiple times, for reasons that aren't limited to not wanting it to end, and that would be wrong to attempt to adequately explain in a review. Fair warning. The timeline is confusing (though mostly intentionally, I think), and the non-linear narrative is often best experienced without trying to fit it all together. The same goes for the genre vibe. Are we in a serious, contemporary, contemplative YA novel about dealing with family tragedy and personal identity? Or an escapist thriller of the sort where teenagers go around local law enforcement to solve kidnappings single-handedly? I personally enjoy all the elements the book incorporates, but I could see the suddenness of the switches messing with a lot of readers' accustomed settings of suspension of disbelief.
Relax into the ride, and it's a good one. Lauren Oliver is one of those rarest of authors who can make each individual scene vivid and moody enough to be compelling even without readily discernable continuity and direction. The warring feelings of love and competition between the sisters and the insecurities that come between them are lifelike, sad, and beautifully fair, and the thriller ending sequence gets the heart pumping. All those disjointed glimpses of time are building to something. Promise.
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