Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're celebrating a Young Adult title that tackles some bigger issues all while keeping you on your toes as to who is right, who is wrong, and who is just plain imagining things. Curious? You should be because it's not like most YA picks out there but it's definitely one you should check out. Ladies and gents, grab your thinking caps and proceed with caution as we introduce today's book of choice...
About the book...
Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled?
When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating his girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: did Fin murder Lucky in order to take over his whole life?
Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. Georgia is certain she’s getting closer and closer to the truth about Fin, but as she does, her mental state becomes more and more precarious, and no one seems to trust what she’s saying.
As the chilling narrative unfolds, the reader must decide whether Georgia’s descent into madness is causing her to see things that don’t exist–or to see a deadly truth that no one else can.
Right from the start, we are inundated with changes and a tidal wave of feelings. From Georgia, the sister left behind by the brother she idolized, to the parents, just trying to make sense of something senseless, the girlfriend, trying to sort out her feelings in the wake of tragedy, to his friends, who seem more adrift somehow without their fearless leader...all except ONE that is.
The "one" I mentioned is Fin and truth be told as easily as he slips into the quiet-ish lifestyle of False Bay, he is pretty suspicious...as well as all the circumstances surrounding him. It's the ease yet unease that he generates that has everyone going topsy-turvy in his presence, making you guess what's real versus fantasy, and just how far some are willing to go to seemingly have it all. I know I was thinking that uneasiness was anything but imagined but the point at which I developed that spine tingle was fairly early in the work....still so many pages left to go and roads to travel to really know how it would all turn out. Along the way, I enjoyed getting to know Georgia as she in turn came to know herself. She was a peach (though prickly at times) and the love she had for her brother was admirable to say the least. The challenges she faced real or perceived were easy to relate to and so having empathy for her was no stretch of the imagination. The friends she made and unmade, obstacles tackled and created, even the stand she takes to gain some control over her treatment and care, all made her into a character, a person worth knowing. Was it hard to watch at times? Sure...but who hasn't struggled with something only to come out better for having lived through the trails in the end?
In the end, I must say that it was an interesting exploration of mental illness as well as a good mystery fit for the target audience and beyond. Admittedly, I wanted to scream I KNEW IT from the top of my lungs when everything and everyone finally came clean once and for all, but that's not REALLY the point of the story. It's important, yes, but it's not what makes this memorable or noteworthy. It's the fact that family is who and what we make of it, there is no one version of "normal", and just because someone may have problems, it doesn't mean that they can't see what's in front of us clearer than our own two eyes can perceive. Speaking of seeing things clearer, in case you didn't notice it at first glance (*raises hand*), take a good look at the cover image. Notice anything unusual about it? Perhaps the angle of the view or who might be behind the glasses peering out? *-*
About the author...
YVONNE PRINZ is the award-winning author of The Vinyl Princess and All You Get Is Me. A Canadian living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is the cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world's largest independent music store.
Special thanks to Sydney at Algonquin Young Readers for the copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those titles forthcoming, please feel free to click through the links above. This title is available now so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!