Release date: May 10th 2016
Liz and Jason used to be best friends, inseparable, until Jason decided to separate them by choosing the popular crowd over her. Liz has put it all behind her and is focused on having the best summer ever, going to the best parties with her friend MacKenzie, and maybe getting Innis Taylor to be her boyfriend by the fourth of July. Jason wasn’t supposed to come back into her life; she wasn’t supposed to want him back in her life. Not after he attacked Innis’ brother, Skip, leaving him with permanent scars on his face. Just accepting what everyone said about Jason after the incident was always hard for Liz. They might not have been friends at the time but she knew him. If word got around that she was seeing him, it could ruin everything for her, but she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to that night than what’s been told.
This was a book I hadn’t heard much about when I picked it up but it sounded interesting and like it could be a good, summer-y read. I was hoping for a lot of complicated character dynamics, some mystery to what really happened that night of the attack, and some resolution to everything. It was a slower read than I anticipated and there were times went the plot felt like it was going in a circle, but in a way that made sense because all the characters weren’t moving on.
I liked Liz. She was caught in a bad situation and it would have been easy to just give in and listen to everyone who wanted her to stay away from Jason. She questioned things and kept asking if she didn’t get answers. It made for an interesting dynamic between her and her family. She could be naive and a little too forgiving but I liked that she refused to go along with everyone else’s beliefs of someone she used to know so well without questioning it. She called Jason out several times for turning his back on her and for not wanting to talk about the incident. I liked that she wasn’t going to immediately trust him just because they used to be close. There were times when I had a hard time connecting with her, pretty much every thought she had about Innis. I didn’t see what she saw in him at all.
As mentioned, there was a lot of going in circles plot-wise. Liz would want the truth from Jason, he wouldn’t tell her, she’d get angry, forgive, repeat. Liz would promise her sister or parents not to see Jason, see him anyway, get angry, forgive, repeat. It could be frustrating. Her family could be pretty terrible and completely refused to even consider Liz’s feelings. Her mother was so worried about their reputation and her sister was all me-me-me. They didn’t even want to consider Liz’s feelings about Jason.
The ending was the part I had the biggest problem with during the whole book. It seemed a little rushed and very convenient. It felt like drama for the sake of drama. It wasn’t completely out of nowhere, I could see it coming, but it felt like there should have been more repercussions for a lot that went on through the book.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.