Reread and Revisit: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This is meant as a more in depth view at the book than my original review, for those who have already read it themselves.  If you haven’t, you might want to check out my original review instead to avoid possible spoilers! 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2012.  On the surface it is an adorable love story, but dig a little deeper and you can find family drama that is genuine and emotional. It was all of these elements that made me eager to reread it, and reading it for the second time allowed me a chance to think about what really made me love it.

There are a few key elements to this story that made it work really, really well.

The Dad Drama

Hadley’s dad left her and her mom after taking what was supposed to be short term job in London, and falling in love with another woman.  Hadley feels abandoned and wants nothing to do with her father’s new life, and is very hesitant to even go to his wedding. I find myself completely engaged in the anger that Hadley feels towards her father.  I think this is where the strength in writing comes in, as Jennifer E. Smith strikes the perfect balance with this relationship, where Hadley, and the reader, can be so inceredibly angry with what he has done, but there are still little pieces of redeemable qualiaties that keep him from being the father that needs to be written off and removed from her life. It impresses me how much I can feel invested and involved in this story line, despite the fact that I have absolutely no experience that I can relate to it.  Hadley’s dad is a very flawed character but he has obvioulsy been an important and influential person in her life, so it is very easy to feel the frustration and anger that has been building up inside of her.

“It’s not the changes that will break your heart, it’s that tug of familiarity.”

Smith so eloquently builds up these emotions that have been developing for months inside of her main character.  If everything had changed completely she would be able to detach herself, but it’s those little things that still remind her of the father that he used to be, that make it hard for her to deal with everything, and keep her straddling this line of anger and hurt.

“And though all grooms look happy on their wedding day, there’s something in the eyes of this one in particular that nearly takes Hadley’s breath away.  It knocks the wind out of her, that look of his, the joy in his eyes, the depth of his smile.  It stops her cold, splits her right open, wrings her heart out like it’s nothing more than a wet towel.  It makes her want to go home all over again.”

Hadley feels like an outsider in her own father’s life.  Here he is, happier than ever, and she has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is something that is heartbreaking to witness, and I feel is the greatest strength of this novel.

The Love Story

It is as if this concept is taken straight from my daydreams.  Sitting on a plane next to the boy who is “meant to be” is a concept I have dreamt up through many of my own travels over the years, (there goes that book idea) so reading about it is a lot of fun.

“Someone once told her there’s a formula for how long it takes to get over someone, that it’s half as long as the time you’ve been together. Hadley has her doubts about how accurate this could possibly be, a calculation so simple for something as complicated as heartbreak.”

This book plays with the idea of how long it can take for someone to make a significant impact on your life.  Much like Gayle Forman’s Just One Day,  it shows that losing someone you’ve only known for a few hours can be just as heartbreaking as losing someone you have known for years, though perhaps in a different way.  Maybe with short interactions you’re not just losing that person, but what could have been.  It’s not knowing how it could have turned out that makes it that much harder to deal with.  Heartbreak is a complicated matter.

As it turns out, Oliver is dealing with his own pain, his father has died and he is in London for the funeral.  But much like Hadley, Oliver’s loss is very complicated.  He had a difficult relationship with his father while he was alive, and is now dealing with a mixture of emotions, and the fact that he is not all that upset to have lost him. In a way Hadley’s and Oliver’s stories are mirroring each other at this point.  Hadley is devastated by her father’s joy in getting married, while Oliver is numb and lacking the expected emotion from his father’s death.  Both situations come with with guilt.


The Characters

Oliver is everything you could hope for in a YA romantic interest.  He’s cute, he’s British, he’s wonderful but imperfect.

“Like the one small imperfection that makes the whole painting work somehow” 

I think that it is this imperfection that makes Oliver work. If you compare him to Graham, from This is What Happy Looks Like, I think it is the imperfection that makes Oliver come out on top. Really it is imperfection in their love story as a whole that makes it work.

Hadley herself is also also a very balanced character. She’s very realateable, and not frustrating to read like a lot of YA characters, but she is still flawed in her interactions in her family, in a way that every teen is.  Hadley is full of anger. and not just a cliched, “I’m a teenager an I hate the world so I’m going to wear dark clothes and listen to angry punk rock,” kind of  anger, but the kind of anger that comes from hurt and heartbreak.  She is so angry with her dad, but he is not around for her let out that anger, and so she lets it build up inside.

She says hurtful things to her mother, and projects a lot of her anger towards her in a way that is very authentic to teenage girls.  In all of her feelings towards her father, she is unable to communicate her anger towards him, and so she takes it out on her mother, the parent she still trusts to stick around. This is a flaw that I think strengthens her as a character, and makes her a realistic teenage voice.

So in case you can’t tell by this point, I love this book.  It is cute, fun and romantic, but also packs a ton of depth, through it’s characters, writing, and emotion.  It’s not often I can find a book that hits all of these points in just the right way.  For me this is definitely a book that I can enjoy repeatedly, as both a feel good and an emotional kind of read.

Gayle Forman Read-Along: Just One Day Chapters 1-9

Brittany from Book Addicts’s guide organized a Gayle Forman Read-Along, which includes all of Gayle Forman’s books being read and analyzed leading up to the release of Just One Year.
Jenna from Jenna Does Books is hosting the Just One Day portion of the read-along.

You can check out my original review of Just One Day here!

1. At the start of Just One Year, Allyson, a girl just out of high school, attempts to “reinvent” herself by cutting off her long, dark hair. Have you ever “reinvented” yourself, either physically or as a break in your usual routine? Why? 


I wouldn’t say I have ever consciously reinvented myself, certainly not physically, I’ve never even dyed my hair, but there have been times where I have adapted with my social situations and come out of my shell in various ways that I think are just a natural progression of growth and indicative of those times in my life.  Certain transition times bring along natural changes.

2. When we first meet Allyson, she is an all-American “good girl” who has just undergone a European Tour. But other than her hair, she is no different than she was in high school. On the other hand, Melanie has managed to reinvent herself, turning from a “good girl” to a party-all-night flirt. What did you think of the ease with which Melanie reinvents herself?

I think that is just an indicator of their personalities to being with. Melanie’s willingness to reinvent suggests that “Mel 2.0″ was there all along waiting to come out, she just needed an opportunity. At home she considered herself to be boxed into the brainy category, but she considered the travel experience, and the upcoming move to college, to be an opportunity to try out her wild side. Allyson’s personality is much more stable, she is who she is and she’s not trying to change it, but at the same time is open to opportunities to grow in a natural way.

3. After watching Twelfth Night at the waterfront, Allyson finds herself at a morose standstill. The play is over, but Allyson continues to clap and clap, hoping to make the moment last, so lost was she in the play. She hesitates to return to her “normal” life, associating the play (and also movies) with a “greater” reality. Have you ever felt the same, that a movie, play or book seemed more “real” than your own life?

I think as a book lover and blogger, this kind of engagement in fictional stories is part of the personality package. There have been many times in my life where I have become so emersed in the universe created by a book or television show that they become a part of me. Harry Potter, for example, is a series I grew up reading, and I, like so many others, became so engaged in it that I legitimately consider it to be an important part of my life and my identity. Finishing the final book was, in all honesty, one of the most emotional experiences of my life. Figuring out how to move on in a world that is seperate from the fictional one that you’ve been a part of can be a jarring experience. I have an obsessive personality, and that allows me the ability to enjoy reading, and watching in a way that is more than just that.

4. When Allyson decides to go with Willem to Paris, Melanie is not happy. It seemed as though, even though Melanie was trying to encourage Allyson to change, when Allyson actually did something adventurous, Melanie still wasn’t happy. Do you think maybe Melanie liked having a friend who was more serious so she could be the exciting one? 


That’s a really good point, and Melanie definitely seems to be the type of person who would have issue with this.  Despite her constant nagging for Allyson to take more risks and be more exciting, I don’t think Melanie wants Allyson to do this outside of her own realm of control.  She wants to be a part of the wildness and leading it herself, but Allyson’s trip to Paris falls outside of that control.

5. At this point in the book, who do you find yourself more similar to? Allyson or Melanie? Why?
Allyson seems to experience more with Willem over the span of just one day in Paris than she did during her entire European tour throughout the summer. What do you think it is about Willem (or this one day) that brings out the adventurous side of Allyson?

I am definitely more similar to Allyson.  I have never been one to be wild for the sake of it, and I am a more cautious person.  Allyson’s adventurous side comes out with him because of her feelings for him.  She is infatuated, possibly in love, with him and she wants to experience all of the feelings that come with that.  It is an exciting thing for her to jump out of her comfort zone, especially with this mysterious boy.  She is very much attracted to Willem, and in a way that she hasn’t experienced before.  I think that any girl can relate to that kind of feeling in one way or another, and it’s the kind of feeling that naturally makes people more willing to take risks.  
I am really enjoying re-reading this one, and so excited for the release of Just One Year.  I am really looking forward to seeing Willem’s perspective, and hoping it compares to Adam’s perspective in Where She Went.

Related:

Review: Just One Day

Review: Where She Went
Review: If I Stay

Gayle Forman Read-Along: Where She Went Chapters 19-23

Brittany from Book Addicts’s guide organized a Gayle Forman Read-Along, which includes all of Gayle Forman’s books being read and analyzed leading up to the release of Just One Year.
Alexa from Alexa Loves Books is hosting the Where She Went portion of the read-along.
Check out my answers for chapters 1-12 here! And 13-18 here! And check out my original review from my first time reading it here!

Chapters 19-23 Questions and Answers

1. In friendships or relationships, the two people in question have a common obsession most of the time. For Adam and Mia, it’s music. Tell me about an example of that in your own life, whether that be with your lover, best friend or family!

Common obsessions are definitely the quickest way for me to connect with someone, or make a new friend. Honestly I think that they are the difference between an acquaintance and a real friend.  If I think about situations where I have met new people, whether that be at work, school or anywhere else, it is the ones that I find have a similar interest to me that I am able to open up to enough to become actual friends.  I guess it takes away the awkwardness, because there is always going to be something to talk about, and that allows me to be comfortable enough to really get to know them.

2. Adam’s knowledge of Mia’s obsession with music was what prompted his split second decision to play Yo Yo Ma to remind her of it. How do you feel about their relationship armed with this new knowledge?

It is very clear with everything that Adam does for Mia is an indicator of his love and admiration for her.  He loves her severely.  I sometimes feel ridiculous talking about them like they are real and referring to their love as if it is this real, inspirational thing, it makes me feel like a love obsessed 14 year old, but I think that is just a testament to the characters that Gayle Forman created here.  They are so intense that I really just can’t help it.  They are real to me.

3. A good cry is necessary sometimes. Do you agree or disagree?

Agree.  Extremely.  I am a total crier, and while most of the time it comes without welcome, sometimes a good cry is just what I need.  And this book definitely provides that for me.  I absolutely love that Adam gives himself a few good cries throughout.

4. Mia’s big revelation — her gift to Adam — changes everything. With this new knowledge, how do you feel about Mia?

This was adorable.  And I think it was needed for Adam to really realize that she was still in love with him too, and hadn’t let him go.  Adam was thinking that she had moved on and that he was the only one stuck in the past, but this was the moment that made everything come to light.

5. What so you think lies in the future for Adam and Mia? Will their history — together and apart — affect it in anyway?

I think that after their time apart, they are ready to be together, and strong enough to make it through just about anything.  Their history, both together and apart has just cemented all of that, they’ve been through tragedy and managed to make it out the other side, and are the only two people who really understand what went on and how they felt about it.  Now that Mia is ready to forgive Adam and has figured out how to live in a world without her family, they are ready to really be together, and they won’t be letting each other go.



Gayle Forman Read-Along: Where She Went Chapters 13-18

Brittany from Book Addicts’s guide organized a Gayle Forman Read-Along, which includes all of Gayle Forman’s books being read and analyzed leading up to the release of Just One Year.

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books is hosting the Where She Went portion of the read-along.

Check out my answers for chapters 1-12 here!


Chapters 13-18 Questions and Answers

1. Adam’s craving for human affection leads him to various groupies. Does this affect what you think of him?

In most cases I think it would, but in Adam’s case it is so obviously a way to try to numb the pain that Mia left him with, that it is hard not to just feel sympathetic towards him.  What else is he supposed to do?  Mia is gone, and there is no way to replace her legitimately, so he finds a way to try and fill the void.

2. Mia is able to feel and hear her family in her mind and heart. Have you ever felt that way about someone you’ve lost, whether from death or other means?


I’ve definitely had moments where I think what someone would be thinking if they were watching me, but I’ve never had a loss so great as Mia’s. I think it would be hard not to hear the voices of people so important to me if I lost them like that.

3. What do you think of the author’s transitions between present day Adam and Mia, and Adam and Mia in the past?


This is something that can take away from a story if not done properly.  I’ve read stories where this concept really didn’t work for me, but in this case I think it lends perfectly to the story being told.  While I do find myself desperate to get back to present time and see what happens with Adam and Mia, the back story needs to be told and it is done in a way that is meaningful and well executed.

4. The confrontation we’ve all been waiting for has finally happened! How did you feel when you found out Mia’s real reason for leaving Adam behind?


Emotional.  I had wondered if she remembered anything from when she was unconscious in the hospital, and the way she reveals it with the charge of heated emotions is heart-wrenching.  It is all around a very powerful scene within the story.

5. Do you think Mia and Adam will truly be able to let each other go? Are you rooting for their happy ending or do you think walking away from each other is their best bet?


Definitely rooting for their happy ending, but nervous and unsure of whether they will get it.  In ways it seems that all Adam needs is to tie up the loose ends, and while he wants more he will be satisfied with just that. My first time reading this I really didn’t know how the story would end.  I can’t say that about too many YA romances, and I think that is part of what makes this book so great.  It’s like I can feel the nerves and the huge assortment of emotions coming right off the page.

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha # 1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 5, 2012

SynopsisThe Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

After reading countless rave reviews for this book, I decided I needed to add it to my to read list. Fantasy is not normally a genre I read a lot of, so I was hesitant but still expected to enjoy it.   Leigh Bardugo creates a world that combines romance and dark fantasy, with

I did this book a disservice by forcing myself to get through it when maybe I should have waited for the mood to strike me a little more, but at the same time I don’t know if I ever would have read it otherwise. The Fierce Reads tour made a stop nearby (a while ago, I’m posting this really late), so I really wanted to read it in time to go see Leigh Bardugo speak and get my books signed.

The result of this rushing, it seemed, was an inability to completely emerse myself in a world that needs full attention.  So while I enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it int the way that everyone else seemed to.

The strength of this novel is definitley in the romance.  Love triangles may be overdone, but Bardugo does a really good job of creating a triangle with two very different leading men, and making it so conflicted.  The Darkling is a seemingly evil but completely intriguing and steamy kind of character, where Mal is a more classic kind of wonderful.  I thought Mal was kind of boring to start with, the Gale to Alina’s Katniss, but he won me over big time by the end.

At the Fierce Reads event, when The Darkling was mentioned, the audience let out a collective swoon/moan which I though was hilarious and shows the strength of this character as a bad boy romantic lead.  Clearly he leaves the ladies wanting more. I am very curious to see where his character is taken.  Is he as evil as he seems to be? Or is he going to redeem himself somehow.  I honestly don’t know at this point.

Overall this is definitely an interesting series, and I am ready to see where it goes from here.  I didn’t love it as much as everyone else in the blogging world seemed to but I did like it more than I would have thought I would like a novel in this genre.  I do enjoy having the opportunity to read out of my typical genre in an approachable kind of way, and this book provided that along with the swoon-worthy boys and romance.  I really do like Leigh Bardugo, especially after seeing her speak in person, and I am looking forward to continuing with Siege and Storm.  


If you are a fan of this series, or looking to try it out, I will be giving away a copy of Siege and Storm this month, so stay tuned for that!

Gayle Forman Read-Along: Where She Went Chapters 1-6 and Chapters 7-12

Brittany from Book Addicts’s guide organized a Gayle Forman Read-Along, which includes all of Gayle Forman’s books being read and analyzed leading up to the release of Just One Year.
I am very, very late to this read-along.  I meant to participate in it from the beginning, but clearly did not, so I am joining in here with my favourite of Forman’s books, Where She Went 

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books is hosting this stop on the read-along! I am a week late starting, so this entry includes two weeks worth of questions and answers.Seriously, I am obsessed with this book.  

This is a reread, so some of my answers to questions are not going to be the same as if I was reading it for the first time, but I am going to take the extra opportunity to fan girl over the wonderfulness of this book.




Chapters 1-6 Questions and Answers

1. Adam has changed a lot since we last saw him in If I Stay. Any guesses as to what happened between him and Mia? Him and the band? In his personal life? What do you think of the “new” Adam we find in the first chapter?


At this point it is hard to know what went wrong, but it is very clear that Adam is all kinds of broken.  The “new” Adam is upsetting to read about in the first chapter, it almost seems like he has lost himself to the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll culture, but really there is a lot more to it than that.


2. How do you feel about Mia’s determination to go to Julliard right away, instead of deferring for a year? Do you think it was the right decision for her to immediately leave the familiar, the scene of her greatest trauma and grief and head to an unfamiliar, new place?


I think Mia needed to distance herself from all possible reminders of the life she had lost, including Adam.  Whether that was the right decision, it felt to her like the best way to avoid pain.  In some ways it was good to allow her to find herself, and find success, but in some ways it was just running away from the support system she had in Adam and her grandparents.  The way I see it is that there were likely extremes for her to choose from here, the other being staying within her comfort zone, and hiding away from new experiences in the world.  Between these two alternatives I think the one she chose was probably healthiest, and lead to the most personal growth. It’s just sad that her and Adam lost each other in the process.


3. What do you think of Mia and Adam’s first reunion after three years? 

It is kind of heartbreaking to witness (does reading count as witnessing?) because you know that there is so much that is going unsaid, and so many feelings that aren’t being acknowledged.  It is nice to see that fate has brought them back together, and that Adam has the courage to go in and see her perform, but at this point in the book, I honestly don’t know how things are going to turn out, and that is nerve-wracking.

4. Grief strikes people different, as we see Adam grieving when he and Mia break up. Have you ever experienced the same intensity of grief? How did you survive it or move on from it? What do you think of Kim’s role in helping Adam snap out of his grief?

I have dealt with lots of grief, but never anything like this.  Adam is dealing with a lot more than just a break up.  He has dealt with the loss of a family, one that he loved even though it wasn’t his own, and on top of that he is losing the love of his life, but has to let it happen because she is more broken than he is.  He has to let her go because she needs to fix herself, but it all just amounts to a crazy amount of pain.  Seriously this book is just seeping in pain.  I like that Kim is the one to snap him out of it, their relationship only ever existed because of their link through Mia, but I think they have a special bond from all that they went through.

5. Song lyrics can sometimes describe our feelings about situations completely, as Adam’s lyrics for the songs on the Collateral Damage album describe his feelings after Mia dumped him. What are some song lyrics that describe feelings you’ve had or memories?

Hmm… I always find questions like this difficult.  I often can feel the emotion of songs, but not necessarily directly relate to them.  I love this SNL skit about Adele’s Someone Like You, because it’s hilarious but true.  That song just makes me feel.


Chapters 7-12 Questions and Answers

1. Adam’s new girl, Bryn, has definitely made an appearance now. What do you think of how they first met? And what do you think of Bryn herself? 

I think that the way they met was indicative of how empty Adam was feeling at that point in his life. Mia left a void that couldn’t be filled and so Adam decided to try and fill it with meaningless hookups, and eventually a very different relationship with a Hollywood actress.  I think Bryn is broken in her own way, and that is why they connect.  She is looking for things that he can’t provide, and he is looking for things that she can’t provide, but they temporarily numb the pain by being together, which eventually turns into a very misguided relationship.  It is hard not to automatically hate anyone who is with Adam other than Mia, but really Bryn isn’t a horrible person.  She is very, very different from Mia, but I do feel sorry for her in ways, being attached to an emotionally unavailable person. 

2. If someone important from your past showed up again in your present after you’d left things on an awkward note, how would you react? Awkward? Excited? Nervous? Angry? Sad? Afraid? 

If that person was my heart-breakingly wonderful ex-boyfriend who I never fell out of love with, I think I’d be pretty excited.  And more importantly extremely nervous.  But there are also the fact that he brings of memories of tragedy for her, so there would be some major sadness in there too. 

3. Mia and Adam attempted a few months at a long-distance relationship while Mia was in New York. What is your opinion on long-distance relationships?

I think strong relationships can handle distance, and even grown stronger, but weak ones can’t survive it.  In the case of Mia and Adam, Mia needed her time away from Adam, not just geographically but emotionally, and that is why it ended when it did. 

4. As Mia says, “Everyone loves New York City for all these different reasons.” Have you been to New York, and if you have, what did you love most about it? If you haven’t been yet, do you want to visit and what do you want to see most? 

I have not been to NYC, unfortunately, unless you count driving through it in grade 11 to get to JFK on a school trip with major travel complications.  I definitely want to visit and do a million things there, like eat all the great food, see something amazing on Broadway, go to one of the book signings that seem to happen there every week, and just generally see all of the sites.  I have always wanted to go there during the holidays because it seems so wonderful.  I am very jealous of everyone who gets to live there, and if I could get a work visa, I would probably go do so myself. 

5. Shooting Stars seemed like such a close-knit group in If I Stay, but that dynamic has completely changed in Where She Went. What do you think of the friction between the band? Do you think they can fix it? 

I think Adam lost himself, and turned into not the most pleasant person to be around or work with, and the band couldn’t make it through that without serious tension.  The tragedy that he went through was difficult to come back from, and he didn’t treat the band well in the process.

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden
by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013

SynopsisSeventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

As a general rule, I hate poetry.  I don’t get it, it is completely lost on me, and I had bad experiences with it in high school.  The only exception to this rule is Robert Frost.  This probably stems back to Grade 8 language arts when we were forced to memorize his poems in class, and they have stuck with me ever since.  So add Robert Frost references to Jessi Kirby, AKA one of my great YA author idols, and you have what should be a sure bet.  And yet, I’m still cautious.  Why? I don’t know.  Everything points to me loving this book, but I really don’t want to be let down.  So many people say this is her best novel yet, but what if I don’t like it, how awful would that be? Because of this trepidation, this book sat, glimmering on my shelf for longer that it should have.

And it didn’t take long from starting to realize that my hesitation was unwarranted.  From the start I was engrossed in Parker’s story, one that is full of mystery and told through Kirby’s beautiful writing. Yes, this books is very different from Kirby’s previous two novels, and falls a bit outside of my normal contemporary style preference, but it has so much to offer that is unique and intriguing.

This novel is told from the perspective of Parker, a seventeen-year-old who finds herself lost in the world of a girl who went missing after an accident ten years prior.  She finds her journal while helping a teacher, and begins trying to solve the mystery of what really happened during that accident.  This unique angle creates a dual story line, which is a new and interesting approach for Jessi Kirby.  This novel proves that Kirby is willing to challenge herself as a writer, and not just stick with what is comfortable or easy.

Along with the mystery that Parker is trying to solve, she has a lot of self discovery to do, and independence to gain from her over-protective and controlling mother.  This provides a lot of the classic elements of contemporary YA, and while I didn’t relate much to Parker’s character or story, I did feel sympathy for what she was going through.  She makes some questionable, slightly frustrating impulse decisions, ones that are big and have a lot of long term impact, but I can see where she is coming from in her need to finally rebel from her mother.

It is great to see a relatively new author already trying a different approach to writing, and this novel gives me complete confidence that Jessi Kirby is here to stay, and will continue to push herself to create interesting stories.  I absolutely love her style of writing, it is always such a pleasure to read her beautifully crafted words.  While I didn’t love this novel in the same way as her previous two, I really did enjoy what it had to offer.  I already cannot wait to see what she has coming up next.

If you want to see more of my Jessi Kirby fan-girling, you can check out my review of In Honor here!!