Published by: HarperTeen on February 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
I received this book for free from YABC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: A very poignant and strong read with a touching friendship.
What I Loved: I loved Alexi and Bodee’s relationship. The pacing was well done, how and when they opened up to each other, when things turned from friendship to something more, and everything else. You have two teens who suffered from traumatic events and eventually learned to lean on each other and open up to each other in order to heal, let go, and move on. I’ll admit, I would’ve expected them to be a little more messed up than they were, but Stevens still did a good job and I loved their moments together.
Left Me Wanting More: I’ve read quite a few books based on rape and I have to say that this wasn’t as gripping or emotional as I was hoping for. Yes, it tackles the issue in a somewhat different way, and I appreciated that, it didn’t really get into the meat of the topic like I was expecting. It took awhile longer than I would’ve liked for Alexi to find her inner strength and courage and face what had happened to her, but in the end, I liked how she turned out.
Also, I really despised Alexi’s sister, Kayla. While she somewhat redeems herself in the end, through most of the book she was a downright witch and if she were my sister I would’ve slapped her for a lot of what she did and said. I was a bit surprised with how she acted in the end, because it really could’ve gone either way, and with the way the author went, I was hoping for more, but it was still acceptable.
Final Verdict: While I certainly had some issues with the story overall, I still read it pretty quickly and really enjoyed Stevens’ writing style. I knew early on who was behind it all, so the waiting around for the big reveal and resolution felt like it took forever, but I think Stevens took all the necessary steps for her character to come to that point in her life and face her demons. I’d say this book can fall into the higher up category of books in dealing with issue. It wasn’t the best, but it was definitely a good one.
*This review was first published on YABC.*