Monday, September 28, 2015

We'll Never Be Apart ~ Emiko Jean (earc) review [@emikojeanbooks @HMHKids]

We'll Never Be Apart
HMH Books for Young Readers
October 6, 2015
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon




That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.
I think We'll Never Be Apart achieved something that a few other books I have read tried to do: it keeps you guessing about the truth, characters motives and what really happened.

The mix of the present day, with Alice in Savage Isle, after the fire that killed Jason and the journal entries detailing her past, growing up and life with Jason and Cellie, really works very well. We really get to know what Alice and Cellie's life, growing  in foster care, with Cellie's troubles and their promise to never be apart, was like.

Their growing up was difficult and, at times, very dark and troubling. Yet, though it all we see the sisters' relationship and their bond with Jason. We also see the trials those relationships faced.

I really appreciated that the progression into some of the darker (and, often, disturbing) pars of their past were paralleled with some growth in Alice's perception of things. I also, interestingly, really liked that those two things did not always keep pace with each other. Alice seeing things as not that bad, misunderstood or acceptable made them that much more troubling.

Honesty, I did not really like Chase, at first. I did not dislike him, I just wasn't sure what he would add to things. Oh, was I wrong. The banter and snark between Alice and Chase is something you can tell is good for them both and connects them, while still hiding a lot. I really love how things developed between their two characters - and individually, as well.

The only real downside to We'll Never Be Apart for me was that it left me with too many questions. I anticipated something like how it ended, without the ending being obvious. Some of the details were too unexplained for my liking - it's actually questioned by a character, but without sufficient answer. (Also, the very end still has be a bit . . .  unsure.)

I loved the characters and their originality, the writing and that it got disturbing and twisted when there was the need but was light, funny and quite sweet when it called for that. This is a terrific debu and I am looking forward to what Emiko Jean publishes next.

digital copy received, for review, from publisher/via NetGalley

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