Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Release date: September 24, 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received from NetGalley as an ARC for review.
I am really torn as I write this review. I’m not sure I will put this on my classroom bookshelf, but I can think of a couple of particular students I would suggest read it because it fits their personalities. And by the time I was done reading, I really liked Dyna, the main character, which is completely opposite to how I felt about her at the start of the story.
At first I struggled to connect to Dyna. She comes from a family whose motto is all about taking risks. And I mean risks that endanger her life, which was beyond ridiculous to me (note: this is coming from a person who won’t swim in lake water because it looks icky). In fact, this story begins as Dyna showcases her adrenaline junkie side, racing through a forest on a bike and climbing cliffs over water. She also speaks very frankly about sex in the first chapter, which was a little off-putting, but then that kind of talk cools a bit after Dyna’s traumatic event.
Actually, it is after the event that I began to connect with Dyna as a character. Here’s my little cover blip: After a traumatic event, Dyna is on a journey to find herself, release her fear, and find her wild side again (note: said in a deep Morgan Freeman-ish voice). She becomes torn between danger and security, wildness and safety, and she has to find a way to reconcile her adrenaline seeking desires with the reality of the physical dangers she faces. This represents the oppositional nature that exists in her that I felt as I read this book. Sometimes her words were harsh and abrasive and other times they were lyrical--in fact I did enjoy the verse-like writing style that the author worked in at moments of emotional impact.
So, again, I’m torn with whether I really liked this book or just the middle to end portion, but I believe it’s worth a read because Dyna’s points about fear and believing in herself are universal and worth thinking about. And I really did appreciate Dyna’s voice by the end of the book, so I’m going to suggest you work through the first couple of chapters because it will be worth your time in the end.
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