I pursued answers. I had found a story that had its merits but I felt that the story was dragging itself out and just didn’t work for me. The story centered on a few major issues and I just needed them answered to clear my head. Solving these issues would solidify the type of characters others perceived these individuals to be. I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters so I was up for anything when they finally started to solve their issues. It was a different type of read for me as I felt a lot of dark emotions as I read this one. Some of the characters tried to shine through with their sunny outlook but the dark clouds quickly dampen the light. Normally this disposition does not bother me but I think it was how the book was stretching itself out and how the story didn’t come together for me that made it seem so dramatic. I really wanted to like this novel, perhaps fewer words and more direction would have helped it.
It began five years ago, on graduation night, when Jaycee’s brother took his life doing a flip off the playground equipment at the park. Yes, he was drunk and yes, this was typical behavior for Jake. There were a host of people who witnessed it that night including Jaycee and Mik, his best friend. Mik and Jaycee have come to the playground every year to acknowledge his death. Jaycee and her family have never fully recovered and Jaycee herself has become a new person. She is now indestructible, sarcastic and the males around her fear her. Natalie misses her best friend and would like her back. On this anniversary, Natalie and her friends see Jaycee in the park and are alarmed by what they see. Stopping to help, Natalie is finally able to talk to her about her feelings. Jaycee tells them about a map that she has found of Jake’s and it was decided that they would use this map to see if Jaycee is right. Jaycee believes that the map holds the whereabouts where Jake was and where he left a part of himself. Jaycee desperately needs Jake, so using the map; the group begins a series of trips to Jake’s previous destinations. Using some graphic illustrations inside the novel, I loved this combination and visual. The illustrations were very detailed and I really enjoyed them. I loved how this novel sounds, how this story could have turned out but it just didn’t materialize into a great novel for me. There were sections that were great and I enjoyed the story but the whole thing just didn’t work for me.
Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review.