|Author:||Emmons, Sherri Wood|
|Publisher:||Kensington Pub Corp|
|Publish Date:||Feb 2011|
|Number of Pages:||312|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.0|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.7 x 0.9 x 8.26|
This debut coming-of-age novel revolves around two young girls and the secret that entwines their families. Every summer, narrator Bethany and her family travel from Indianapolis to West Virginia, where she develops a friendship with her cousin Reana Mae. The book details Reana Mae's horrible childhood as well as oddities in Bethany's sister, Tracy. An inexplicably evil girl with "bad blood", Tracy emotionally tortures Reana Mae. While the plot is rich, there is a little too much exposition without action, lending a slow start, and some characters, particularly Tracy and Reana Mae's mother, are so despicable that reading the book becomes difficult.
It is impressive that Emmons is able to portray characters with such vitriol that the reader can instantly hate them, but the problem also lies in so many bad things happening to these characters in such a relatively short time.
Verdict: It's a bit like a West Virginia version of the 1998 Todd Solondz film Happiness-technically good, but everyone will need a quick jolt of antidepressants afterward. Readable, but only for those with a penchant for realistic, dark stories.
-Shalini Miskelly, Seattle
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