Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date Published: April 8th, 2014
Format: Paperback/Advance Reader’s Copy
Source: From the publisher for an honest review
Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.
That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.
Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer – but can she track them down before they come for her?
The cover makes sense within the context of the book. The premise will draw people in rather than the cover in this case.
The Writing Score: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Must Read
Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable
Rating: 4 out of 5
I’m going to make this a spoiler free review because there are reveals in here that I think are worth the first time read for those of you who haven’t read it yet. I really enjoyed this book despite having a weird start there for a minute. Weird in the sense that the book’s decision in how it wants to tell the story might have done more harm than good in the first half but then redeemed itself in the second. I’ll get more into that later.
I enjoyed this book because it wasn’t just about the mystery of Mina’s murder but also about Sophie’s relationships before and after it. Her relationship with Mina was so beautifully complicated and both girls were equally dynamic, different and three dimensional in how they were constructed which was as people rather than as ideals or tropes. I love the exploration of love, the forms it comes in and the decisions people make in the name of it. Addiction is referred to a lot throughout the book as not just the relationship between Sophie and drugs but also the entire culture of addiction which includes the harbouring of secrets and the ever so present and persistent need to want to indulge in the object (or person) you are addicted to. I don’t see addiction explored in Young Adult narratives all that much so this is one of the many reasons why this book will standout and follow you after you put it down. The secondary characters are solid and enhance/compliment the complexities explored and, overall, Sharpe just did a really great job with a premise that could have easily made for a mediocre novel.
I do have some issues with the book that were minor but were present enough to distract me while I read. Earlier, I talked about the book’s format as being more harmful to it in the first half but then redeeming it in the second. It jumps from the present in one chapter to the past in the immediate chapter following it which would be fine if the chapters that dealt with the present were much longer (in the first half of the book, I mean). I say this because it throws the pacing off when the chapter earlier was gaining momentum that would be choked out by the following chapter that dealt with the past (which were usually moments for character development). This was fine in the second half of the book when we were nearing the end but I would have liked the present chapters to have more room to breathe. It may not be an issue for other people but it did cause me to re-adjust for the constant change in pace which took me out of the book a little. Also, first few chapters were doing a lot of telling versus showing in it’s over explanations of feelings, thoughts, facts etc but it was mostly in an effort to disseminate basic information which, once it did, wasn’t an issue for the rest of the book.
Again, this was a fantastic book. Sharpe did a great job and I highly recommend it to everyone.
A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.