I often find myself delightfully surprised by the power of novels written in verse, because they tell more story and pack more punch than I would expect from something so slight using such few words. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. This one, instead, left me wishing the story had been told in full prose to more fully capture the depth of the drama the characters were experiencing. This one did indeed feel too slight, as though we're just getting impressions of what the characters are going through and feeling instead of the full weight of those powerful experiences.
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Though I think it does say something positive that I wanted more, that I enjoyed what was there. This is a very accessible way of presenting a very interesting story, one that I think many readers will dive right into and devour. The alternating perspectives are definitely an intriguing strength, as well.
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The short, first part of the story occurs when both characters are eight. Wren is waiting in the car while her mom quickly runs into a convenience store when she hears gunshots. She hides under a blanket. Before she knows what's going on, a strange man has stolen the car and driven it to his garage. She's trapped, afraid that if she makes herself known the man will kill her. The man is Darra's father, and she finds Wren and tries just a bit to help without telling her dad, but not enough to help Wren escape. Eventually she gets out on her own and the man is arrested.
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The longer second half takes place six years later, when the girls are fourteen and bump into each other at a summer camp. Suddenly they have to face the trauma and blame they've been keeping hidden. They each have to decide if they want to give the other a fair listen and work toward some kind of healing or if they want to hold onto anger and lash out at each other.

JCLChrisK's rating:
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