Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Teen
Length: 336 pages
Original Publishing Date: November 3rd, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.
The story of a teenager overcoming grief and trial is honestly nothing new. So Stevens had a lot to contend with in creating a unique and new voice in this sub-genre. There was a lot that she did well, even masterfully. I think my major issues with the story in general came with the pacing and the lack of connection to Sadie.
On a random note, the cover and the title are interesting. I'm obviously a huge fan of cool typography and I love the Polaroid that has been ripped in two. The title, I'm not so much of a fan of. I feel like it doesn't completely represent what Sadie was going through and the whole situation. Because it's not that the group was lying to each other, but that they left so many things unsaid and kept so many secrets.
- The Secrets: The way that Stevens sneaks in these secrets and gradually builds the scenario and the past is pretty impressive. It is pretty difficult to slowly build your way up to the reveal of these secrets without alerting your audience, but Stevens rocked at that. The two secrets were pretty game-changing.
- The Grief: I don't have a lot of experience in dealing with grief and trauma, so I'll admit that I might not have any leg to stand on by asserting this next statement. But the way that Stevens dealt with the car accident and Sadie's grief seemed realistic and heartbreaking.
- The Relationship: Max and Sadie were perfect, especially because it wasn't one of those hot and bothered relationships that's all about the physical. Steven's really grows their relationship as one built from history and pain and shared grief. The emails were on point, as well.
- The Pacing: It wasn't all bad, but it wasn't great all the time. There were some points where I started to get a little bored. Yes, I'll admit my bias and state that I get bored easily. But in all honesty, I think Stevens could have added some meat to the bones or just taken out the fluffy scenes.
- Sadie: I liked Sadie, I did! But sometimes she seemed a little flat for me. A little stereotypical.