Published: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis (Goodreads): “It was like watching a train wreck. I wanted to look away but couldn’t take my eyes off them.” IF ONLY …If only I hadn’t gone to that party. I never would have seen what I did. Jackson wouldn’t have driven me home. I wouldn’t have started to fall for a guy just out of reform school. I could go back to pretending everything was normal. I wouldn’t be keeping a secret from my mom that could blow our family apart …
Personal Thoughts: This was one of those books that I had to put down when I finished it and think about it for a while. I have not read any books by Janet Gurtler before this and now that I have, I know that I have been missing out on a great author. Her writing invokes something deep within you, takes a grab of you and won’t let go, even after you have completed the book. It has a distict style that sometimes tells you everything and nothing at the same time. As soon as you started to read, you knew that something major had happened, yet you didn’t know what until later on in the book. That sense of suspense and mystery is there right from the start.
The main character, Jaz, caused herself quite a bit of stress and drama due to what she saw and couldn’t tell anyone. If she told someone about it, she would have saved herself a lot of heartache. Gurtler’s writing style is really unique and through it you able to see the inner struggle of Jaz and those around her. The family struggles, the interracial issues and her friends issues force Jaz to take a closer look of who she really is and evaluate her life, before moving on and trying for a fresh start. There are a few lessons that the author fits into the story to make us, the reader, think about our own views and perspectives and the world around us. This is a book that once it’s put down will still stay with you after you have finished reading it.
Rating: 3/5 Stars