A review by Domoni.
Natalie is an angry 13 year old who hates her mom and takes her anger out on everyone who matters to her. Her parents have divorced and her father has abandoned her. She doesn’t care about her old friends, or advanced placements, or being the good girl anymore. She is hanging out with new friends even though everyone else tells her the gang is bad news. She doesn’t really want to do the things they do, but she doesn’t want to be alone. When they make her get the door unlocked and be their lookout while they break into a house, she gets spooked and runs off before the cops can find her. Natalie knows that this is going to get her in trouble with her new friends, but after another rough fight with her old best friend and a blow out with her mom she doesn’t care anymore and doesn’t feel like she has anywhere else to go.
Etan, the leader of the gang, decides that if Natalie won’t do the crime the only other way to put her in her place in the gang is to have his way with her. When Natalie fights him off and humiliates him, he won’t let that stand and comes back with a gun. When the shooting ends Natalie staggers into the alley before she can’t move anymore. Lying there she sees how much she has messed up her life. Now she is sorry, but is it too late? When DJ Todd shows up and tells her things might not be so bad if she does what he says, Natalie strives to make it out alive. But is her childhood crush, really who he appears to be and can she survive the night?
This story is an interesting take on the typical story of a ghost that tries to make amends. The author did an excellent job of creating an angry out of control 13 year old girl. I really felt her anger and pain. Even when I could see the stupid choices she was making, I felt like I would empathize and make those stupid choices as well. The characters of this story have a lot of life. None of them are perfect, all of them need to work together to get through the crisis they created in life and maybe stop Natalie’s death.
Natalie’s parents are not just filler characters. They are more than the stereotypical feuding parents in a bitter divorce. Their story is not one of love and reconciliation either. They are very human and very believable. Leah, Natalie’s best friend from preschool to high school, is trying so hard to keep Natalie in her life even though she is the victim of Natalie’s anger. Only Natalie can really save herself, and everything she had to face and accept in the fight of her life showed her who she really was.
I enjoyed this story, it was a shorter read but it captured my attention well. The characters and scenery were brought to life vividly. There were some very rough scenes, there was some content that was a little bit juvenile, and at times the story did wander into some trite places. Overall it was a good read and I liked it.
My rating: 4 /5 stars.
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