At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction. All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.
I had deliberately avoided reading anything by Lurlene McDaniel until I saw the synopsis for Red Heart Tattoo, the premise was so meaningful. This book has kind of changed my thoughts about Lurlene McDaniel's books, I wouldn't go out of my way to read something by this author but I may consider accepting her books for review.
The reason that I wanted to avoid this author's works is because I've heard that it's just overwrought drama and to be honest it kind of is. You have so many dramatic teen storylines coming from all directions and I never really felt too much for the characters. Morgan and Trent are portrayed as the perfect couple, but they can't be perfect if Morgan is crushing on the school badboy. Kellie and Mark have their on very dramatic storyline but we really nevre get to know either of them so I didn't really care. The only drama in this book that really appealed to me as the development of Roth and Morgan's relationship (even though I was annoyed at the speed of that, since Morgan had only just lost her boyfriend...) and finding out who the bomber was.
Which kind of brings me to the next point. I was expecting the bomber to be somebody we know, somebody we meet throughout the pages but what we get is unexpected, it annoyed me and kind of made it a bit of an anti-climax. I also was annoyed that the book spent so long developing Morgan and Roth's relationship just to let it end the way it did.
But despite my (many) grievances with this book, for some reason I just could not put it down. I was gripped by the mystery and the emotion in this book and before long I had reached the end. I won't say I was moved, but the issues covered in this book are done delicately and meaningfully and if you are a fan of uber amounts of drama I would recommend this. Even I can't say I really disliked this book...
Overall Rating: C-
Book released July 24th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young readers
Book received as an eBook for review via NetGalley