My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really liked this book!
I hadn’t read Lorie Langdon’s previous series Doon (co-authored with Carey Corp), but this book is not a fantasy like that series. Instead, it’s a cool, psychological thriller, in a YA world where fantasy and the paranormal rule extreme.
This one actually surprised me by being interesting from the start. I haven’t read many YA contemporary thrillers, so I wasn’t quite sure if I’d like this. The title was the first thing that really appealed to me, and the cover. That cover! As soon as I’d seen it, I had to request it, and was happy to have had it approved.
If you’ve read the synopsis, you get the idea what the book is about. It’s pretty obvious that Ashton, claiming he never committed the crime he went to prison for, will want to find the person who actually did do the crime. But then – if it wasn’t Ashton – that means there’s a dangerous person out there, and they’re not going to want the “truth” revealed.
Willow is our MC, and she’s the one who had stood behind Ashton when everyone else claimed him to be a murderer. Even when he was sent away to jail, she insisted he was innocent, and even sent him letters everyday for the first six or so months. She stopped after she it became clear she wasn’t getting any replies. But Willow is loyal, so even when Ashton comes back, mad at her for whatever reason, she still wants to believe her former best friend still exists.
I liked Willow’s loyalty. She was basically ostracized by almost her entire town, but she kept on, even though it was extremely hard. I appreciated the way Langdon wrote her, cause Willow could have been your typical YA MC, but I don’t think she would have been as interesting. For starters, she had panic attacks! (And anyone who’s had them knows they can really set you back, and when you’re crying and shaking, you just want to disappear and hope that no one sees you.) And the main thing that I found unique, was that she wasn’t anything extraordinary! She was regular person without anything special about her. Her draw was that hers and Ashton’s relationship was built on a long-standing friendship, and this friendship is what brings them together again.
(I, in fact, love extraordinary characters, but not in books like this one, where I was happy to find a cast of people that were real, telling a realistic story.)
Oh, and I wanted to mention the mystery aspect. Willow and Ashton not only were attempting to figure out who could possibly be the real killer, but who could be behind the threatening messages Willow has been getting, and who exactly is it that wants Ashton gone so badly?
So, now that I’ve mentioned that, I will finally conclude this review, say that I liked and gladly recommend this if you’re looking for a contemporary that could possibly have you using your brain to solve the mystery.