Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
Wow. Just... wow. The stories told in this novel are impactful and raw, the kind of read that sucks you in and makes you feel.
The book follows three teenagers... Farrah, Brendan, Blaze. Their lives and their stories are very different from one another, but the connection between them is undeniable. With the exception of Blaze's grandmother, in all real ways, the three are without anyone who truly cares about them. Their lives have intertwined before, but it is this summer at Crystal Lake that truly brings them together.
These characters are amazing. Their stories are heart breaking and emotional, and you can't help but to be pulled into their worlds. I don't want to say too much about their individual stories, because there is an odd sort of beauty in the way they unfold and weave together that I don't want to spoil. Jolie doesn't shy away from tough subjects, doesn't try to sugar coat them. He meets them head on and writes them without filter. The good, the bad, the ugly... that is the reality of life and he doesn't pretend that it is any different. I like that and I respect that.
Is this a happy read? Probably not, although there are plenty of funny, even heart warming moments. But it is a book about reality, a book about real issues. There are times that it is hard to read because the issues are so raw that it scrapes at your heart. But that is exactly why it should be read. It is important to see the world as it sometimes is.
The book is set in my childhood stomping grounds of northern NY, which is something I appreciated. It was all too easy to see the lake and there were scenes in towns I know very well, which was fun. But that connection to back home was disturbing to me. I didn't want to think that there could be people as ignorant and cruel as some of those in Brendan's life that close to home. It's a naive thought, and I know that, but it is what it is.
Things to love...
--The characters. These characters were brilliantly created and I was drawn to each one of them.
--The issues. As I said, Jolie doesn't shy away from the good, the bad, or the ugly side of life.
I truly feel that this is an important read. The story is engrossing and full of emotion, and it will stay with you!