Some books start with a bang, others slowly build up in what seems like an orderly fashion- but don’t be fooled by the steady opening, such books can end with an avalanche of emotions and knock you off your feet. This was one such book. After Jay’s amazing debut last year, I was obviously excited to see what he came up with next. Now, this did initially take me some time to really get into, some parts clicking more than others, yet I very much appreciated the trickle of information, eroding any sense of stability I had, bit by bit.
The dual perspectives were done really well. There was plenty to latch onto with both stories and I found myself invested in both of the main characters- especially since both stories were so raw and emotional. Amalia was relatable and sympathetic; Brianna was incredibly likeable. I did get irritated with Brianna for not hearing Molly out- but I felt like this was a testament to how realistic the relationship was.
Speaking of things that were realistic, but I didn’t especially enjoy- if I had a friend like Shanelle, I wouldn’t need enemies. Me and bossy people do not mix- it’s the ultimate rock meets hard place- if someone tries to tell me what to do they’ll look like a cayote running into a brick wall. I can’t pretend that I liked anything about her: I hate nags, I can’t stand people that play games in relationships and woe betide anyone that tries to pressure someone into a relationship when they’re not ready. What can I say- I’m just not as agreeable as Briana and would have told her to eff off. Phew- glad I got that off my chest. THAT SAID, I did not see this as a criticism of the book, cos irritating or not, people like this exist and as I always say (sometimes 😉 ) eliciting a strong response means it’s more real. And I think it’s pretty clear from the way I’m talking about these folks that I felt they were very life-like.
Psychologically, I thought Cudney painted a striking picture of the bitter and resentful mother and the spiteful son. Both villains, for me, were spot on. I did unfortunately think that certain other additions were less believable- for instance I did not buy that about 90% of the men in the book were creepy pervs. There were just a few too many deeply unpleasant men and I needed more Jonah-type figures.
I loved the descriptive elements- more even than Watching Glass Shatter. The writing and imagery, as good as it was before, was vastly improved and struck a deeper chord. As the pace picked up, the drama became more harmonised and I was transported by the magnificent finale. I became more in tune to how the themes of the title wove into the narrative and saw how it was all interconnected from the start. The twists kept rolling and the story grew darker and things snapped into place. I don’t want to spoil anything- but believe me, it’s all about the ending with this one. Ultimately I got tingles from so many parts of the conclusion and felt just-stepped-off-a-rollercoaster giddy. It was that good.
Rating: 4/5 bananas
So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!