This is definitely one of the best books I read this year. I noticed it was nominated on the Goodreads 2010 book awards for best teen fiction. I totally agree. Not only was it good in general, but it was a terrific audiobook. Two thumbs up for Joshua Swanson. He was the perfect Jace.
The characters are so wonderful and complex. Jace, being the most complicated of the whole novel. There’s so much there. His angst runs deeper than most teens because of his experiences with domestic abuse. He’s also terrified of becoming his father since they share the same short fuse. He runs from his actions as if he’ll actually be able to escape them. The things is, you can’t run away from your own memory. Jace finds this out pretty quickly. He allows one bad decision to dictate his new life. Christian isn’t much better. He’s allowed the past to dictate his life for years. He’s still stuck there, afraid of what his father can do. I find him to be a truly sad character. What’s great about both of them is that they can learn from each other. It’s so entertaining to watch both characters develop as they try to figure out how to start over as brothers after so many years apart. Miriam, Christian’s girlfriend, is also a crucial character. In times of need, when Jace and Christian are ready to kill each other or cut the other out of their life again, Miriam is there to rescue their relationship.
The plot is spectacular. There are things you see coming and things you don’t. Either way, I was never frustrated with how it went. Avasthi has proven herself as a very capable writer. I’m ready to read anything she publishes. This is the kind of voice the young adult genre needs: someone who understands the struggles some teens go through and conveys them with biting reality. I am definitely a fan. Please write more books! This is getting added to my list of books I should own.