Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Six Months Later

I found it hard to stick with a book this year while at camp. I attempted to read The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. I gave up after about 35 pages. I tried a YA book, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, but found it too crude to continue while at a Bible camp. Then, I began Rachel Held Evan's book on leaving the church, called Searching for Sunday. I got almost half way through, but set it aside, only getting back to it after we returned from camp. Finally, I settled on a YA novel, Six Months Later, about a girl, Chloe, who falls asleep in study hall in the spring and wakes from this nap to find it is winter, six months later.

Here's the teaser from the back cover: "Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited for Ivy League schools. Before she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her. What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows..."

I thought this was a clever plot scenario. The urge to find out what Chloe is missing in her memory is intense. Something has certainly happened to change her life and she should be happy with the way things have turned out, but somehow she's not. Chloe has the guy she always wanted, but deep inside he kind of creeps her out and she feels a strong pull to a bad guy she only knew in a peripheral way before. What could possibly explain her outstanding SAT scores, when she used to barely pass her classes? Moreover, what happened to Julien, a girl who used to be popular until she moved to California suddenly (during the six months Chloe cannot remember)? Does Julien's disappearance have anything to do with Chloe?

As you can see, the book propels several intriguing questions. The plot was well-paced and planned. The answers were believable and sufficiently sinister. The characters, while a bit two-dimensional, were interesting enough. I would probably give it three and a half stars. It boasts an endorsement from Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List, and pitches Truly, Madly, Deadly, another book I've read from Sourcebooks. Moreover, the book was fairly wholesome and clean, so perhaps I should bump it up to four stars. I believe I'll be looking for another book by Natalie D. Richards (there's an intriguing one listed on Amazon called Gone Too Far).

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