This was quite an interesting book about a girl, Julia, who was recovering from being kidnapped. A year previously, Julia and her best friend Liv were running in the woods when they were set upon by a guy, Donald Jessup. In a frankly astonishing act of bravery, Julia sacrificed herself so Liv could get away and then, against the odds, Julia managed to escape too. A year later and Julia still has gaps in her memory about the two nights she spent in the woods and Liv is starting to act mighty strange.
So firstly, I really loved Julia as a character. She’d had one of the most terrifying things happen to her, but her strength and resilience and the fact that she still managed to keep a (dark) sense of humour about what happened to her were really great. I never tired of her as a narrator and I think that’s what made this book so readable.
Also, there were some nice (and by nice, I mean nasty) toxic mother-daughter relationships. Julia’s relationship with her own mother is kind of strained and slightly resentful, but it’s nothing compared to Liv’s relationship with her own mother. Blimey. The book was worth reading for that alone. It was the kind of relationship where you read about it and think, ‘My life could be worse. I could have a mum like that!’
Julia and Liv’s relationship was very … I’m not really sure of the right word to use. Creepy. Intense. It certainly wasn’t very healthy, but I could see why they were still so attached to each other after the ordeal they’d both been through.
Where this book fell down a little bit I think was in the ending. Obviously I won’t give anything away, but it did seem to end with a whimper instead of a bang. There had been some great plot points scattered throughout the book and I thought they were all building up to something cataclysmic that was going to happen at the end, something to knock the reader’s socks off. What happened at the end was kind of a big deal, but it just didn’t, I don’t know, shock me enough. I didn’t really buy into the reason for Liv’s behaviour or the things she did and Julia’s darkly dry narrative, which I did really enjoy for the rest of the book, just didn’t do the events justice.
Still, it was a pretty good read and Julia’s narrative made it skip along nicely. I just wish that the ending could have been a bit more spectacular.