Author: Mercy Amare
Publication date: September 21, 2012
I could be surrounded by a million people, but I would still feel alone. I smile on the outside, but inside I feel like I’m slowly dying. I cry out for help, but nobody sees me, at least not the real me. They see a façade, a mask that I put on to hide the pain.This book was the perfect blend of gritty and sweet.
I pretend that I’m normal, but really, what is normal? Maybe what I’m feeling is normal. The hurt, the disappointment, the loneliness… it could be all just be a part of life. Maybe I will never know what normal is.
I put on long sleeves and makeup to hide the bruises, but they only mask the outside. What happens when I can’t carry my burden alone any longer? What would happen if I told somebody the truth?
Lucy is a girl who, on the outside appears to have a perfect life, but in reality, behind closed doors, she suffers from abuse inflicted by her alcoholic father. I liked that this book tackled a tough and serious issue, but didn't let it dominate the whole story. This story is also about falling in love and exploring the limits of what someone would do for the person they loved.
This book is written from the dual POVs of Lucy, the girl who is suffering when no one is looking, and Ian, the golden boy of school who has been in love with Lucy for almost his entire life. I'm normally not crazy about dual POVs, but I really enjoyed getting to know both of these characters. My heart went out to Lucy for what she was going through. At times, I wanted to reach into the book and give her a big hug. I love how good Lucy was despite all that she was going through; her life was hell, but she still managed to be a kind person and a good friend. Ian was super sweet, the kind of perfect guy who could have easily become a cliché but didn't. Ian is honest, kind, and quite mature for a high school boy. He's the kind of guy that any girl would be lucky to date.
This book was quite short, but I thing so much was covered in the span of 66 pages. The story was concise, getting right down to the core of the story without any unnecessary drama. Overall, I thought the pacing was nice, however, due to its length, the point of view switched very frequently and the romance felt brisk at times. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I felt I got to know the characters despite the story's brevity, and there was actual character development happening! In only 66 pages! I've seen 300-some page books who never achieved the character development that this book did.
The only thing that really bothered me was how Lucy's beauty was emphasized over and over again. Yes, I understand that she is a beautiful girl, but there's no need to remind me every single time Ian lays eyes on her! She's pretty, yes, but she was also a beautiful person on the inside, always very caring and nice. I wish that had been emphasized more than her physical attributes.
Rating: 3.75 stars*
I think any fan of YA contemporary and romance would like reading this. Literally, you could read this in one sitting, and believe me, it's hard to put this book down. The only thing that's keeping me from giving this a full four stars is because I just feel like I'm missing that extra oomph that probably could've been achieved with some more time for development and transition.
On a random note:
You want to know the weirdest thing about this book? The fact that the blurb says Lucy always wears long sleeves to cover the bruises, but the girl on the cover is wearing a tank top! O__o
*I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. All opinions are my own.