Reader beware: You’ll think you know what’s happening, and you’ll think you see what’s coming next… But you’ll be very, very wrong.
Fifteen-year-old Yasmin Doner is a social misfit—obese, obsessive and deemed a freak by her peers at school. With her father dead and her mother in a new relationship, Yasmin yearns for a sense of belonging, finding comfort only in food and the fantasy of being close to Alice Taylor, a girl at school. Yasmin will do anything to become friends with pretty and popular Alice—even if Alice, like everyone else, thinks she’s a freak.
When Yasmin notices a sinister-looking man watching Alice from the school fence, she sees a way of finally winning Alice’s affection—because how this stranger is staring is far more than just looking, it’s wanting. Because this stranger, Yasmin believes, is going to take Alice. Yasmin decides to find out more about this man so that when he does take Alice, Yasmin will be the only one who knows his name and where he lives…the only one who can save her.
But as Yasmin discovers more about him, her affections begin to shift. Perhaps she was wrong about him. Perhaps she doesn’t need Alice after all.
And then Alice vanishes.
When a blurb begins by telling me to be aware and that I won’t know what’s coming, I’m expecting it to knock me off of feet. That’s a pretty bold and lofty statement, right? To be fair I didn’t have everything completely sussed out, but by the time I was at the end of this book I was so ready to just be done reading that frankly, I didn’t care much anymore.
Initially I felt really bad for the protagonist, Yasmin. She’s a fifteen year old girl with a weight problem and no real friends. She’s a loner and a very odd duck, but she’s bullied and teased and that always pulls at my heartstrings. Soon enough, you realize that Yasmin has very obsessive thoughts and compulsions, she concocts wildly elaborate fantasies that were very disturbing. She’s overly obsessed with her classmate, Alice and she would be rambling and go off on these strange tangents that made my eyes glaze over. It was all just a bit too much for.
Her innermost thoughts and rantings make up a good portion of the first half of this book, then she notices a weird older man is also watching Alice and her obsession turns to him instead. She inserts herself into his life and things turn dark and creepy, fast. Normally for me that’s a good thing, but here? Not my cup of tea. I think the overall concept of the story wasn’t anything like I expected it to be and instead of being happily surprised by this, I was frustrated and annoyed by it. It made me feel unsettled and gross, like I needed a shower by the time I got to the ending.
I do want to give credit to Kavanagh’s writing though, she’s clearly talented, this book just wasn’t for me.
Overall rating: 2.5/5
Thanks to MIRA for my review copy.