Genre: YA, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Publish Date: 4 August, 2015
Review: Scarlett is like every other almost sixteen year old, except for one thing. She remembers nothing before the age of four? (Yes, I meant to put that question mark there. You’ll see why in a bit.) Noah is the drop dead gorgeous new kid in school and is nothing like your typical teen. Vegetarian, no junk food, no TV, and not sex-crazed. Naturally, it’s love at first sight. When Scarlett suffers a head injury her memories begin to return in dreams forcing her to question everything about her life. I really liked the premise of this story. Religious cults, family secrets, teenage love… who wouldn’t? The problem was there is no real meat to the story (maybe it’s because Noah doesn’t eat it, IDK).
The book opens with Noah entering his new class. Scarlett is assigned the position of “tour guide” and it’s obsession, I mean love, at first sight. Actually, this part isn’t all that far fetched. At fifteen, if the gorgeous new boy walks in, sits next to you, and shows an interest, you’re going to be gaga. Noah wants to get to know the girl so he starts with “Tell me something about yourself”. Now you’d expect her to answer with telling him about something she’s interested in, a hobby maybe, or maybe about her family, where she’s grown up. But no, her answer is “I remember nothing before the age of four”? Why is that weird? Many people don’t remember that far back. It’s not that unusual. And even if it was, really? That’s what your entire life amounts to? Any way, this all comes out in the first 2% of the book (I checked) and that sums up the entire first half of the story. You could literally skip to the middle of the book and not miss much. Teenage love/obsession, why can’t I remember, are my parents lying, boy has secret.
Problem two: Your daughter is being searched for by a religious cult who wants to sacrifice her. You know the isolated, hippy-styled life that they lead. You move around trying to escape them, but no red flags raise when the time of the ‘four year cycle’ is about to occur, a new boy enters her life, and the family is about as earthy-crunchy as you can get? I would have met this family and run for the hills without looking back. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against hippies, but given the history here, I think the parents would have been a bit more situationally aware.
Ok, my rant is over. Look, I finished the book, therefore, I didn’t hate it. I actually somewhat enjoyed it. It definitely picked up after the first half with more character development and more suspense. I just think it could have been much better. It’s proof positive that you can have a great idea for a book, but it won’t write itself.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author: My name is Natasha, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don’t mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since. My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn’t be where I am today. And this website wouldn’t exist! I’m a proud mummy to an amazing little boy who is my whole world. At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn’t really do anything else. In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the ‘app store’ and came across Wattpad, an amateur writing site. For the first few months I just read, but then decided to type some of the ideas I had floating around my head. I’m so glad I did because I absolutely love writing. Writing gave me an escape, and Wattpad gave me the self-confidence I lacked. (From Natasha’s website) How to follow Natasha Preston: Website Facebook Twitter