I have to admit, I was embarrassed to buy this book because the title and the cover looked so…cheesy. But my own YA novel “pushes limits” on things like sex and I wanted to see what was out there in the market.
Honestly! I bought this for research…and then I fell in love with it.
The synopsis of the story, below, is not why I fell in love with the book. The plot is fairly weak, a framing device to push the characters closer or to heighten tension. But what McGarry does in between those little nudges takes us on a journey from darkness to light, confusion to understanding. The character descriptions aren’t even that unique but there’s a strong and definite arc that is believable and is well-supported by the events in the story.
What is most impressive about the writing, and the reason why I fell in love with the book, is that McGarry is able to give distinct voices to Echo and Noah as they alternate chapter POVs. I could hear them, practically see them in front of me. The depth of what they are feeling, thinking, and doing, felt so real and honest. It’s a coming-of-age story fraught with the complicated nature of becoming independent from your parents and learning to cope with tragedy and the inexplicable nature of life. Even the side characters are three-dimensional and jump off the page. Little details help flesh out what could be a smarmy teen drama.
So it’s almost an injustice to break the book down into a description of parts, because the way it comes together is beautiful and satisfying and even cathartic.