Kayla saw something that a party, something she’s kept secret all these months. No one knows the truth behind the night of the accident, no one but her, her friend Bean, and one other person. Kayla spent the summer away but now she’s back for her senior year and it’s not going to be easy to face everyone she left behind. Or their accusing glares. She could speak up, but even if people believe her, she still risks losing everything.
This was my first Kristin Halbrook book and it ended up being a pretty fast read. It told was all through Kayla’s POV but in alternating timelines, the present where she was dealing with coming back and the past leading up to the party that changed everything. The different POVs were quite easy to keep track of since Kayla seemed like such a changed person from the weight of the secret she was keeping.
I found Kayla to be quite a likeable character, though I liked her more in the present as she was determined to face her peers after spending so much time away after the accident. She came back and everything was different, her group of friends broken, and she wanted answers. In the before parts, their friendship had seemed so strong and I loved that she wanted to find out what happened and hopefully repair it. There were times when it definitely wasn’t easy for her to adjust to being back but she never let it show. Her wavering on whether she should speak up or keep her secret was realistic no matter how badly I wanted to scream at her to do the right thing. It was going to be a hard decision she would have to live with no matter what she chose and the author did a great job portraying that.
Other than Kayla, I found it hard to get a grasp on the other characters. There was so much there that could have been explored and developed but was left alone. The book was very short, under 300 pages, so maybe there wasn’t the time, but I think I would have connected more with them if there had been more to them.
At times, the book was a little too realistic. In a good way. Kayla was a regular girl, not someone looking to be a hero, and she struggled with what she knew was the right thing to do vs what was the easy thing to do. What happened that night of the party does happen and people do stay quiet about it, and it was impossible(rightly so) to forget that while reading this book.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.