At seventeen, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She’s dropped out of school. She’s living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she’s in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn’t love her back. She’s stuck in Mobius—a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only attraction—stuck working in the roadhouse and babysitting her boss’s demented father.
A stranger sets up camp in the forest and the boy next door returns; Jack’s father moves into the shed and her mother steps up her campaign to punish Jack for leaving, too. Trudy’s brilliant façade is cracking and Jack’s only friend, Astrid, has done something unforgivable.
Jack is losing everything, including her mind. As she struggles to hold onto the life she thought she wanted, Jack learns that growing up is complicated—and love might be the biggest mystery of all.
Source: Review Consideration
5 Words: Family, friendship, resentment, love, growing-up.
This book very much sits on that fine line between YA and Adult fiction - as much as it's about growing up, that inbetween time when you aren't yet grown but are no longer a child, it is also written in a rather mature and slightly less accessible (for me) style.
I loved the small town mentality, how everything came back to it. I loved how the Jack seemed so trapped, how everyone seemed trapped, but that no one ever properly left. I loved how the characters themselves seemed as small as the setting.
I didn't really like Jack that much, and I struggled at first because of it, but I got sucked right in to her world. I was there witnessing the tumultuous relationships she had with everyone around her, I felt her resentment, I understood her actions. I loved how she interacted with her sister, how they weren't best friends, how they argued all of the time. I have sisters, and we are at each other's throats, so the relationship really rang true.
This book had a very summery feel to it, in the writing style itself as much as the summer setting, and at times I was reminded of Panic by Lauren Oliver.