Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Skylar lives in a special place called Gardnerville where no one ever gets sick and no one ever dies, but it comes at a cost. Every fourth year something happens to the teenagers of the town and their emotions get out of control. Sometimes people get turned into trees or their lips are glued together. Skylar's sister, Piper, killed sixteen people when they followed her to a bridge and drowned. Skylar, full of despair, starts to take forget-me-not pills so she won't remember anything. When people start escaping from the prison, Skylar realizes that she must break her sister out of prison, destroy the prison, and then leave Gardnerville forever. When Skyler destroys the prison, she realizes that Piper was never real, but only a ghost of what Skylar could do. Skylar is now free to roam the world and be her own self.
Quinn jumps between the present and the past while telling Skylar’s story and captivates the audience by keeping them waiting to see what happens next. Small pieces of the story are revealed slowly over time, keeping the reader in the dark and allowing them to come up with their own conclusion, only to get something totally different in the end. Sometimes the chapters begins in the middle of a character’s thought and it can be confusing at first. The story is a good example of man vs. himself as Skylar struggles with her feelings and how to deal with them. She constantly fights against herself, always running from the truth and who she really is, only to realize that she needs to accept herself and her abilities to break free of her fears and finally love herself. The author also uses songs titles, mostly from the eighties, as her chapter headings for Skylar’s past memories, making it fun for readers to listen to the songs. Overall, a very fun read for something a little different and supernatural.
*Contains severe language, mild sexual content, and mild to moderate violence.