Official Rating: 1/5
“One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for the summer before her senior year. The next she finds out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they’re moving away from the only home she’s ever known. Every day becomes a struggle as Meara tries to cope with her mother’s illness while being forced to move to another country to live with grandparents who are strangers.
Add weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life and top it all off with one whopping secret that everyone seems bent on keeping from her, and Meara has the perfect ingredients for a major melt down. The only things keeping her from coming unglued are some new friends and Evan—the son of her mother’s childhood friend—who seems to know Meara almost better than she knows herself.
Together with Evan and her friends, Meara embarks on a new journey to unlock the secrets that will not only tell Meara who she is, but what she is.”
I have never wanted to put down a book so bad. I have a heart but I couldn’t feel for Mera and her Mom at all and I was bored out of my mind. I was being told everything. “He seemed angry about this.” “I didn’t think her response deserved an answer.” “He kissed me.” While Meara and her Mom go through a rough time, they’re concern and sorrow seemed extremely fake. As if Risser was treating them like puppets with strings and not like characters. Have you ever seen a puppet on strings give a believable impression of human emotions? I didn’t think so.
The major things I had issues with:
- (spoiler) If Meara’s Mom has cancer and the doctor suggests that she gets treatment immediately to slow it down, why do they suddenly move to Canada? When is she going to get the treatment? Where is she going to get the treatments?
- Meara’s Mom is dying from cancer. She doesn’t have long. Yet, Meara feels a tiny twinge of guilt when she ditches her to go hangout with her friends, but nothing more. I understand that she wants to chill with her new friends and get used to Canada, but it seemed like a very selfish and inconsiderate thing to do. If I was her mother, I would try to be understanding but I would be very hurt. Also, when your Mom is very sick with cancer, stomach flu isn’t “nothing too serious.”
- This line: “Not bright blue like mine, they were a deep, endless blue like the depths of the ocean, fringed in thick, dark lashes.” Really? Also, do all white male love interests have to have blue eyes?
- Grammatical and spelling mistakes that could have been easily fixed by just a friend proofreading.
- Meara thinking that since she and another guy broke away from their group of friends to get fries and lemonade it’s suddenly a date.
- This line: “His skin glistened from the heat.”
- Meara insists (once again telling us, but not showing us) that she misses her best friend Kim, but she’s rarely mentioned (spoiler) after Meara moves away and Kim seems to be the last thing on Meara’s mind. Also, when Kim is upset that Meara kept something major from her because Meara doesn’t like phone calls and emails, Meara just excuses it by saying “this was better left for in person.” Now, Meara says this when Kim comes over to visit, but Meara had no idea when Kim would ever be able to visit. Does that mean that she was never going to tell her? “Best friends” huh?
- David’s “mysteriousness.” It was unbelievable and a poor attempt to give the story a sense of mystery but there was none because it isn’t done tastefully.
- The painful overuse of “grin”, “grinning”, “grinned.” There are a ton of synonyms for grinning, there are also a ton of thesauruses online.
- The under-aged drinking.
- The sex. I’m not going to label this as a spoiler because I believe this is something that shouldn’t be left out. Meara and her boyfriend have sex (spoiler) hours after her Mom’s funeral for the sole reason that Meara “wants to feel human again.” And apparently, her Mom (spoiler) who is dying of cancer and (as Meara loves to mention) is very pale and weak as it is, had the time and energy to take her to get birth control because “she knew we were serious?” Really? It wasn’t described, it wasn’t inappropriately worded, but this isn’t right. Absolutely horrendous timing and I’m disappointed that this was slipped in there.
I didn’t enjoy this book and it was a struggle to finish it.