My Rating ★★★★★ 5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher – Simon & Schuster - and Netgalley for making this title available in exchange for an honest review. This review is my opinion and has not been influenced by anyone.
This is a story of loss, regret, guilt, love and finding one’s self after straying so far away for far too long. Shelby Richmond is an ordinary high school girl until a tragedy changes her fate in the blink of an eye. Her best friend’s future plans are drastically changed while Shelby walks away with immense loss and guilt.
I was hooked from about 2 pages in.
The character development was highly noticeable and gradual without being forced. The whole story was well written, with each character having a unique voice and personality. In just under 300 pages, Alice Hoffman executed a solid plot with sufficient background and explored complex emotions, experiences and connections.
I felt an instant connection to Shelby. I felt her loss, her guilt, the pain she went through, her desire to just blend in and to be forgotten.
Alice Hoffman novels usually have the ability to evoke profound emotional responses from her readers and this book is no exception. She captures human emotion and tragedy like no other author. Her writing style has the typical, flawless Alice Hoffman touch of clear prose and magical realism.
I found myself wondering how Alice Hoffman is able to express the inner thoughts of humans so well, so freely and make you feel such deep emotions for characters.
She is also one of the few authors who can make you fall hopelessly in love with the relationship between characters then tear them apart and leave you heartbroken but not for long because you end up truly understanding and accepting that these two weren’t meant for each other.
Her stories all feel like fairy tales without the classic, predictable happy ending, but still you’re left satisfied and content with the ending. It’s amazing how she does that