Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay. Josh Bennett has had every person he’s ever loved taken from him until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
Five stars – excellent.
I was hooked by the unique ‘voice’ of this novel from the very first line, the prose are captivating. The point of view switched between Nastya and Josh, but in both cases the sense of these characters was immediate and honest. I guess this narration was ‘The Death of Bees’ (random blurted thought) meets ‘Pushing the Limits’.
I would have liked more insight into Josh’s head in the second half of the novel and some of Nastya’s decisions seem to come from a far more self-destructive place than you anticipate, but the storytelling was fairly balanced otherwise. I enjoyed the slow growth of their friendship, the way they gradually slipped passed one another’s guard. The secondary characters like Drew and Tierney were well drawn, interesting and entertaining – they were pretty perfect and didn’t feel extraneous.
If you like smart observant characters, romance, heartache and stories to get lost in then this is a good bet. It’s not fantasy, or science fiction, or a Mills and Boon romance, but it will wreck you, steal your breath and your affections, your heart even. It will impress you.
This is a book that was worthy of a recommendation by Colleen Hoover.