Thanks to Bookish First and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader's copy. I really enjoyed this story.
Woo! Alright. Where to begin? This book was a nail-biter for sure. It had me feeling all the emotions and flipping those pages as fast as I could to see how it was going to end. I think that means it's done its job.
I'mma start with the characters. Where can I get my I <3 Ivy buttons? I loved Ivy so much. A 15-year-old overweight mega nerd who reminded me a lot of my high school self, if I was an actually good person with tons of loving friends instead of a socially anxious clown who hated the world. She's who I WANTED to be, I guess. She rocked. I think that her love interest and her were very shippable.
Moving on to her sister, Autumn. Ooh boy. So as soon as the book starts off we are presented with Autumn... a terrible person, really. Or is she? Autumn was a perfect example of teen angst and how fucked up a person can get when bad things happen to them. In that respect, I loved her too. Her attitude was badass in the best possible way and, surprise surprise, she ended up to also be a good person in the end.
Time to talk about the plot, mommy. This book had major thriller vibes. Ooh, I'm just seeing now that this is the first book in a series. Hmm, idk how I feel about that. I really do think that this book wrapped up perfectly. No need to follow the characters any further unless the author has tons of wild plans up her sleeve. Anyway, back to what I was saying. huehue. The plot was very suspenseful but rich and weaved with layer upon layer of subtext.
One of the best parts of this book is how the author used the great story as a platform to promote an important political agenda. Spoiler alert: but this book brushes strongly against the rape culture here in America. I was getting major #metoo vibes but in a way that will hopefully help inform young people that these things are not okay and hopefully normalize speaking up about such things.
I also want to say that I cherish the way that the importance of friendship was highlighted as well as the complexities of family.
Now me gonna talk about the writing a little. The story is told from the first person points of view of two very different sisters, Ivy and Autumn. I really enjoyed getting those two alternating POVs. There were definitely less Autumn POVs but that's for the best because she had such a strong voice and strong personality, too much would have felt abrasive.
I have literally no clue how old the author is but the voices read like authentic teen voices. At least to me, a 25-year-old teenage wannabe. lol The writing was strong and purposeful, most especially the Autumn chapters, and the overall tone that was used made the whole thing easy to read and compelling.
That's really about all I have to say. I loved the story. I expect this book to do pretty well once it's released. Sprinkled with all those nerdy references, you got yourself a hit that most readers of YA can enjoy.