I've fairly recently become obsessed with reading. This is just me sharing that love with the world. :)
Currently in the (apparently long) process of importing my books from GR.
If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be real.
It's about two 17/18-year-olds who have dealt with more than their fair share of tragedy. Josh's whole family has died one by one, until at 17, he's the only one left. You don't actually find out what happened to Nastya until pretty late in the game, but it's pretty clear that it's a big something.
There's a whole lot of opportunity in this book to make it into a crazy teenage drama fest, but it was very well executed. In stories like these, I try not to judge how characters chose to deal with their respective tragedies. While Nastya's method of coping didn't make much sense to me personally, I still felt like it worked. And Josh was like the antithesis of drama; very even-keeled and adult. Josh & Nastya's relationship was a reaaaally slow build, but not excessively so. Again, it fit the situation. And Josh is so quiet, he seems to only say anything when it really needs to be said. Which makes me love him.
I also loved all the side characters. Drew is completely charming, even if it's recognized that he's also kind of a douchebag. He's described by Nastya as "the kind of good-looking that transforms once self-respecting females into useless puddles of dumbass." I always find it really intriguing watching a person's developments from someone else's point of view. You get to hear Josh's thoughts about his best friend (Drew) growing up. It's good. I also love seeing how everyone, including Nastya's family, peers and teachers, choose to respond to her.
I've read some reviews of this book that this got too heavy for readers at times. I don't know if I'm dead inside or what, but I didn't think it was. There are certainly some parts that are depressing, but I thought it was well-balanced enough with snarky, sarcastic wit that I never felt like I was drowning in despair. That said, that's kind of what's holding me back from a 5-star rating. I knew and liked the characters, but I didn't really feel them. Although, maybe that's a good thing. And like I said, it could just be that I'm dead inside.
In any event, it's an excellent read & I would definitely recommend it.