Author: Lucy Christopher
Rating: 8 out of 10
Summary (Goodreads kills me): Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused of the crime. A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats into silence.
What really happened that wild night? Emily knows in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games with her -- the kinds of games that can kill?
My Thoughts: Look, it's a book with another beautiful cover.
I read Stolen a very long time ago but I loved it. Nothing in it was quite how it seemed and it was impossible to guess what would happen next. This book was similar in that way. I found myself surprised frequently. How the characters were feeling was so believable (okay, the romance stuff was a little strange but when is it not, right?). They were having a melt down right in front of me. It was the kind of melt down that friends watch and don't know what to do to fix, that affects everyone around you. It was perfect because that's exactly what this novel needed for me to believe it. I could believe that horrible things happened in the woods and that people would avoid someone whose father probably committed a murder. It was the psychologist stuff that made this novel what it was. It was marvellous.
Of course, that said, teenagers are stupid sometimes. Yes, let's go wandering in the woods with people we barely know or worse, alone. Let's just run off on your own and do stupid things while you are clearly unstable. Let's antagonize people that clearly hate you. Sure, it all needed to happen to get to the end but a few times I felt like I was in the audience of a horror movie, yelling at the screen and blood girl #6 to stop going up the stairs while when the crazy neighbour keeps calling the house and hanging up. No, you shouldn't run into the garage with all the chainsaws. Yes, it's a fantastic idea to let your phone die on Friday the 13th, while you are home alone but supposed to be out of town in the middle of the storm of the century. What is wrong with you people?
...On another note, although I understood why it was important to the story, alternating points of view have to be done very carefully. At times, I thought that it was too heavy on one side of the story while the other was just being used to move forward. Yes, sometimes a character needs help figuring things out but would these characters have interacted as much as they did? I doubt it. I would have stayed the hell away from them, but that's me. I did enjoy watching them both fall apart and watching both of them ask questions, however.
So, I thought that this novel was really great. It's creepy and a good mystery. I enjoyed watching the characters fall to pieces but was mad at many of their decisions. This was a very easy to read story that had you rushing to figure out what happened. I needed to know how it would end. I was more than satisfied with how it ended. This novel was very well done.