Author: Edith Pattou
Publishing Date: August 19th 2014
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/suspense-Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
On a hot summer night in a midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.
Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.
I was hesitant to read this book. I am not sure why, maybe because there isn't much given in the book synopsis, maybe the name, maybe the cover, maybe I just didn't hear too much about it, really I haven't heard anything about this book. I decided to give it a try and see what happens. I am so glad I did. This was an amazing read and found the book to be far more intense than I expected. It was a jewel to find and I was floored by this "unputdownable" read.
Eight teenagers, all with a bit of history but with completely different lives go out and party the last weekend before their senior year of high school. What starts off as a normal type of teenager party... drinking, bit of drugs, and boredom turns the night into something different. Something that sounded harmless, fun, and just a prank, but it wasn't and their fun harmless prank led the night into something none of them would ever forget.
So there really isn't much to go on with the description, the title, the book summary so needless to say I didn't quite know what I was getting into. What I found was a very very intense jaw dropping drama of a read. It was real, it was different, it was a bit of a hard read, it was beautiful and haunting and it was just plain horrifying. It was all these things and more. I am really glad I didn't know what to expect because the shocking moments of truth were just incredible and I think it made it so much more powerful.
The characters were just amazing in this book. They were all a bit screwed up and a bit self involved and a bit lost. So bringing them all together was a just a big mess. Each character had a strong tie to another and a very influential place in the decisions that were made that night. Each played a very crucial part in bringing down the night. There were some very stereotypical players... we did have the stoner, the party girl, the tramp, the jock, the nerd, and the good girl. We also had two others that were brought into the mix later on that play a very important part in the story but were a huge part throughout the entire book. Even though the characters were stereotypical they didn't necessarily feel that way. I was able to be in each of their heads and feel their lives, the reasons they lived the way the did. I loved them all and hated them all. In the end I felt for them, strongly.
I truly believe the reason this book was so powerful was the writing. Not just the amazing characters brought this story together. The book is written in verse and it fit this story very well. The verse made all the emotions come to life and that is what hooked me in the end. The verse style also made this book a very fast read. I read on the back of the book, a blurb written about the book, it said to be prepared to read the book in one sitting because it can't be put down. I did read this in one sitting. I couldn't stop reading this book. It was in me and I had to see it to the end and I did.
A very captivating read that I recommend to any realistic fiction readers, suspense thriller readers, or well just any YA readers, OK any readers. I think this is a treasure many will love. I know I did.
Edith Pattou is the author of several fantasy novels, including East, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. She is a graduate of the Francis W. Parker School, Scripps College (B.A., English), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., English) and UCLA (M.L.I.S.). She is married to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. They have one child, a daughter.