She continues to do this as she keeps leaving hints throughout the novel that point to things to uncover in the future. Like when she first mentions the existence of many voices in Sandy's head even before tragedy struck.
This is a story with a message for young people. I feel I would give this book to my daughters if the were of age. It has a proufound messages of how to rise above your trails and that it’s ok to be conflicted and frustrated as long as you do not allow others to define you. Growing up is a process and you have to choose what works for you in the end. That is one of the messages I got.
I love the writer’s quirky and often funny style. I think my favorite lines must be. Oh before I give you the lines let me give you a spoiler so that you understand why I found it so clever and funny. Sandy, Cassie and Troy have been friends since they were in their diapers:
"Nobody had called a Meeting of Minds since Troy’s birthday last summer. Cassie and Troy had this pact since sixth grade that Cassie would have sex with Troy on his 16th birthday If he was still a virgin. Troy always had this huge crush on Cassie. And Cassie……well, everybody but Troy knew he just was not Cassie’s type. But Troy saved himself for Cassie, and she kept her word. " (I don’t think as a parent I should have found this as funny as I did. LOL)
So here’s the thing:
As I mentioned earlier, the writer is very good at using the readers imagination, and perhaps too good. There was some “foreshadowing” that I expected to play out at the end and yet things never got there and for me that missed the ball a little. An example she gives a hint right at the beginning (the stroller incident) that both Sandy’s best friends have dysfunctional or at least missing some form of “normal” relationships with their parents. The two friends play very significant roles in Sandy’s life and yet there is no solid back-story to them. They are kind of hanging around being support characters with the focus on building Sandy’s credibility as a character.
I don’t know if this was me over looking something but there seems to a gap in the detail when the first Meeting of Minds event is spoken of. Sandy is telling us: that’s why I called the meeting….and the shen gets side tracked and goes into some background story building for us to get a feel for her and her friends and then later comes back saying: So back to that Thursday. It took a moment for me to figure out what the Thursday was because there was no previous mention of a Thursday and this threw me. I had to go back and read before I picked up that Oh, she’s referring to the point where she says: that’s why I called the meeting…. This must have been on a Thursday.
The ending doesn’t feel right to me. Right at the end, literally the last page Sandy has sexual feelings for her female friend. I mean I was ok with Luke’s sexual identity crisis but when out of the blue this happens to her, I just didn’t buy it as readily as I could have. Again, was Luke just being mentioned to support her character and experiences and not as a complete person on his own? I just wanted more for Luke I suppose and for it to be less about her. I feel he would have enriched the story. (apologies if I’m making character assumptions)
I feel strongly that there are social issues that this book is meant to address and that it is most probably meant for very young adults. Therefore I’m not sure I’d be really willing to have the reader believe that the law does not protect them. I think this particular point grated me the most. There is an air of hopelessness in the entire situation with the police & judicial system being so nonchalant towards the sex offender and set on blaming the victims.
To end this otherwise very long review, I strongly recommend buying the book. I think I am this opinionated about it because it seems to be message driven. Had it been complete fiction with no social agenda I would just have gone one and on about what a talented writer Laurie is, because sincerely, she knows how to engage her audience. The part where she explains poetry and sonnets is in bold highlights in my reader because I’ve been struggling with this area over and above this she’s made me fall inlove with the classics. I won’t tell you how she did that….you go find out. All I can say is: Shakespear is sexy and Laurie Gray is one to watch.