Author: Kasie West
Genre: Paranormal YA
Year of Publication: 2013
Main Character: Addie (4/5)—For once, YA fiction has provided the world with a well-rounded heroine, complete with strength, courage, and compassion. She even thinks before she acts—a former given for characters in YA that is now so rare it’s remarkable.
Secondary Characters: For the most part, you’ll like the ones you’re supposed to like and hate the ones you’re supposed to hate. The only one who gave me pause was Laila. She’s a bit selfish and causes more problems than she solves, but she doesn’t mean any harm.
Pacing: With short chapters alternating between her two possible futures, this book compels you to keep reading.
Accuracy of Publisher’s Synopsis: While the synopsis was completely accurate, the book was more interesting than the publisher made it sound (also rare). The crime Addie’s father is investigating is one of the central plotlines, and I wish that had been clearer from the summary.
Resolution: I was a little upset by the life Addie chose, but I would have made the same choice for the same reasons. The last few pages will reassure you that not all hope is lost and then set you up for the sequel, Split Second.
The Good: When I saw what Addie’s choices were for her future, I thought for sure that one path would outshine the other. And since the chapters alternate between each life, I also assumed that I would be stuck pushing through boring chapters to get back to the good ones. Thankfully, none of those things happened. Both lives were equally interesting, especially because they kept to the same timeline and often showed the same events from different perspectives. The intersections between the two lives are remarkable. As the story winds down, the stakes get higher and Addie is faced with a decision much more difficult than she bargained for. All I can say is that you’ll close the cover wondering just how much of an impact you have on each little thing around you.
The Not So Good: I suppose there were a few things about this book that I didn’t like. Truthfully, I wasn’t a huge fan of the football injury plotline or the criminal case. What I enjoyed about this book had a lot less to do with the literal plot and more with how the book was composed. I also wasn’t crazy about Addie’s mother or Laila. Neither of them seemed like they truly cared about Addie. Her mother only talked to her to yell at her and all Laila cared about was guys.
Overall Impression: This is the type of book teens should be reading. In a market teeming with novels written solely to tackle heavy social issues, this one is a breath of fresh air. The lessons inside aren’t just relevant to one group or even one age—they’re timeless and universal.
Would I recommend it? You bet I would!