Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can’t remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn’t charged. But Mallory still feels Brian’s presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.
This book was not at all what I expected, in the best possible way. I thought it would be good, don’t get me wrong, but I was expecting a fairly typical murder mystery without the depth Miranda gave the real story.
One of the first things that really struck me about this story was how Mallory experienced the aftermath of Brian’s death. She feels as though she can sense his presence with her everywhere, and though this is made a little supernatural later on in the story, that is a very real feeling many people with PTSD have. Having dealt with it myself, I really identified with Mallory’s struggle and definitely understood the feeling of having your attacker following you around. The memory of a person and what they’ve done can be a powerful thing that stays with you no matter where you go.
My second favorite part about this book was the friendship between Mallory and Colleen. It’s not often that I see strong female friendships in YA. Bromances might be a thing that pop up both in literature and popular culture in general, but female characters tend to be pitted against one another. This is because in the real world, women are forced to compete due to unrealistic societal standards that teach them to hate each other. This definitely wasn’t the case with Mallory and Colleen, who, though they are very different, have maintained their friendship for a long time.
I also thought Miranda’s writing was very promising. Her style is engaging and exciting while still being real. She made even the more supernatural elements of her story believable, and left me wanting more of her writing. I plan to check out her other novel, Fracture, very soon.