I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie–beautiful, saintly Jamie–was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed.
On the eve of Kyle’s sentencing a year after Jamie’s death, all the other “chosen ones” are coping in various ways. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.
Now she finds herself drawn to Charlie, Jamie’s boyfriend–knowing all the while that their relationship will always be haunted by what-ifs and why-nots. Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead?
“I want to be alive. And to be okay with being alive.”
I went into this book expecting to come out an emotional wreck. Sadly, that wasn’t my outcome. In short, this book lacked the dept that I was expecting and was really formed as just another contemporary.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad book. This covers topics from survivor’s guilt, moving on, and being true to yourself. I feel like we could have really dived more deeply into those emotions, but the writing wasn’t there.
“I don’t even know if justice is a thing. If it’s possible.”
For the most part, I really enjoyed the narration that we received from Jaime. she asked the questions that are hard to ask. I liked being on the journey with her while she found a way to try and move on and learn to forgive for something tragic.
What really drove my rating down was the romance. I didn’t see the need for it nor did I like it. Being with someone who’s girlfriend died a year ago when it could have been you just doesn’t seem like it should happen. Charlie didn’t really need to be in a relationship. He was full of too much grief and pain. He was still mourning the loss of Jaime. How can you be in a relationship with someone whose mourning the person they loved and expect them to love you too?
Overall, while it wasn’t terrible, I just feel that the romance and excess background plot took away from this story being better for me.
ARC provided for an honest review. Quotes are subject to change upon publication.