Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus--and deepens Jackie's despair.
Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 3rd 2014 by Merit Press
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery
I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
I have to admit that this story took a bit to get use to. The idea of cousins in what is basically an incestuous relationship in not typically the type of relationship I like to read about. I kept thinking about my own cousins. No offence if any of them happen to read this but YUCK! Initially I thought that I would hate the book but that was not the case.
Perhaps it was because the relationship was so different from what I typically read that I couldn't put the book down. I desperately wanted to know how things would play out for Jackie and Marcus. Once I got past the yuck factor of them being cousins I have to admit that Brauning captured the emotions and turmoil of the two beautifully. Also I think that because the relationship was unique compared to what I am accustomed to, it added to my curiosity. I do wish that their relationship began with the book so that the reader could have been a part of that journey instead of it already being developed at the beginning of the story. I think this might have helped me get over the whole cousin thing a lot quicker. Even though I am a little shocked to say this, I really enjoyed the relationship aspect of this story even though I didn't fully relate to it.
The mystery aspect of this story was just alright for me. I found that for the first 3/4 of the book it was barely there and just random tidbits were thrown in along the way. The focus was so much on Jackie and Marcus that Ellie was almost non-existent in the story and in Jackie's thoughts. Then all of a sudden near the end it becomes the entire focus of the story. It disappointed me slightly that Jackie didn't think about her more before this time. I understand that her focus was on Marcus but once she became aware of what happened to Ellie I expected a little more. It wasn't terrible but I feel like the story could have stood its own if it just focused on the relationship and left the mystery out of it. My rating would have been higher if this was the case.
Over all it was a quick and unique story that I was happy to read. I applaud Brauning for making a believer out of a sceptic like me. She is now an author I will be sure to read more from in the future.
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