I’m completely afraid that I’m not going to do this book justice when I write this review. So I’ll start with the fact that I picked this up and read it in a 24 hour period. That’s how much I loved this. Every time I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to be able to get back to it.
From the very beginning I was hooked. The prologue immediately grips you because you want… no you need to know more.
I hate my left hand. I hate to look at it. I hate it when it stutters and trembles and reminds me that my identity is gone. But I look at it anyway; because it also reminds me that I’m going to find the boy who took everything from me. I’m going to kill the boy who killed me, and when I kill him, I’m going to do it with my left hand.
I mean… what?? I immediately needed to know what was wrong with her hand, what happened to her, could she really kill someone? I had all these questions and Millay answers them, but you don’t get the full story immediately. It was like peeling off layers with each chapter.
This story is told from alternate points of view – We get Nastya’s and Josh Bennett… yes… most of the time he’s not just Josh to Nastya but he’s Josh Bennett.
Nastya has gone through something horrific – something that is only hinted at throughout the story. She’s left the small town of Brighton to start fresh in her Senior year. Whatever happened to her, ruined her.
Dying really isn’t so bad after you’ve done it once.
And I have.
I’m not afraid of death anymore.
I’m afraid of everything else.
She changes everything about her, forcing people to be wary and afraid of her… making herself an outcast. Thankfully this doesn’t work for some.
Enter Drew – From the very beginning I loved this guy. He doesn’t apologize for being who he is, but at the end of the day, he’s not the person everyone thinks he is. He’s a loyal and supportive friend and he brought quit a bit of levity to extremely tough situations.
“She’s really small and fragile-looking, and at the same time, it’s like she’s some exotic teenager mercenary, all rock solid, dressed in black, ready to take somebody down. None of it makes any sense. it’s kind of disconcerting. She’s like an optical illusion. You look at it from one angle and you see the picture and you think you’ve got a lock on it and then it shifts and the image changes to something entirely different and you can’t even find the original picture anymore. It’s a serious mindfuck.”
The truth is … even though Drew is her friend …or has become her friend, he really doesn’t know anything about her. Unfortunately, I’m not going to spoil anything so I can’t divulge much.
What I can tell you about is the characters. They are wonderfully written. Millay has created these layered, multi-dimensional characters that jump off the page while reading. Characters win me over all the time and Millay had me from page 1.
Josh Bennett.. yes- I’m going to call him that too. This boy has his own problems. When we first meet him, it appears he’s somewhat of an outcast, but when people think of him, they are reminded his situation so I think people stay away because they don’t quite know how to act or respond to him. But he’s respected… by his friends, by his teachers, by his peers and eventually by Nastya. They gravitate towards each other because of the issues they both have, but eventually it becomes more than an escape for both.
Again, I can’t say much, but I will share some of my favorite Josh Bennett parts with you…
Good morning, Sunshine!” Josh Fucking Bennett. By now, I’m pretty sure that if I were to find his birth certificate that is exactly what it would say.
“Not my fault that you’re distractingly pretty.” I have to take a minute to confirm to the pissed off part of my brain that still works that, yes, in fact, I did just say that.”
“I’d ask you, you know. If I was allowed. I’d ask you a thousand times until you’d tell me. But you won’t let me ask.”
“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”
Then he shifts just slightly and I’m not kissing him anymore. He’s kissing me. And when does, part of me is lost. But it’s the part that’s twisted and mangled and wrong, and for just that moment, with his hands in my hair and his lips on my mouth, I can pretend that it never existed.
Have I sold you on Josh Bennett yet?
I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of this story in what it’s about – Actually I know I haven’t, but I’m worried I might ruin something so I’m trying not to tell you much about the actual story other than the basics. You need to read and experience this as the story unfolds and to do that, you can’t know certain things ahead of time.
Like I said, the characters are so well done in this story – even the secondary ones – I wanted more of Drew’s mom, she was lovely and I want a short story about Tierney and Drew and I want I want I want! LOL
This story has a bit of everything… There are light, and sweet moments and there are parts where I found myself laughing out loud at a passage and then turned the page and found myself rubbing that spot over my heart because it hurt and then gasping at the sadness that I experienced. There is incredibly written dialogue and so much emotion in this book. At times I felt overwhelmed by the story, but by the end it was almost like a deep breath of fresh air. And when I got to the last page… I knew I was in love.
This book will pull you into the world of Nastya and Josh and you’ll want to set up camp and stay for as long as possible. Millay is a talented storyteller and I look forward to much more of her work in the future. Run and get this book, because I know you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.