Well, here's another one of those books that I feel I should write something about just to make sense of my feelings about this book.
First of all, I'm not really a big fan of Young Adult/New Adult genre (or whatever it is they're called now). I haven't read Twilight (gasp!) and the like and really have no inclination to do so (gasp, I know!). But this one was handy so I thought I'd give it a try. (Will I read Twilight and the like if it becomes handy too? Hmmm...)
I do look at reviews before I start reading a book but just like movie reviews, I don't let book reviews dictate my interest in the book. But then I also read the reviews after I read a book to see if I felt what other people felt about it.
I think my feeling on this book ended up being a combination of all the reviews I've read thus far...
The emotions in this book are just intense, I find, for a YA/NA genre. Maybe it's just me, or have I just been hiding under the rock all this time? The emotions in this book are sometimes just too much that even "real" adults, I would think, would have a hard time dealing with.
Reading about Travis is like seeing into the making of an alpha-male character that some women swoon over in those adult romance novels. I happen to be one of those women who can take a dose of alpha-male every now and then but reading about someone young with that trait was a lil disconcerting at times I must say.
Then there's Abby. I can easily go off-tangent just trying to describe how I feel about this young girl. How I feel about this girl will change from 1 minute to the next, that I know.
I think the writer did try to provide some context as to why these 2 young ones felt and acted like they did but not enough for me to fully understand where they were coming from, but then again, maybe it's just my age talking. This is probably how my parents felt when I was growing up (yikes!).
So then I go back to the emotions again. It felt un-natural to have such intense emotions at that age. Yet it also felt natural when I try to remember what things felt like at that age, not fully matured and all. Heck, if "adults" are going thru the same emotions, they would have been told to seek help, yet these 2 young characters dealt with it on their own acting like it's the most natural thing and nothing to be concerned about. And this is what I think disturbed a lot of the readers out there who felt very strongly against this book, esp the issues around anger, jealousy and promiscuity. Reading a story about it is one thing, but imagining your child (I don't have any) or someone in your care going thru the same thing is a totally different ball game.
I probably would not have liked this book at all if I read this in my teens or 20's. Remembering how I was then, this book would have probably earned a lot of head-shaking and eye-rolling from me.
But I'm not in my teens or 20's anymore so in the end, I realized I like this book quite a bit for the way the writer got me enmeshed in the story and the characters. I say that alone makes it a good FICTION for me. It evoked emotions in me (whether my current self or remembering my young self), that's for sure. And I'll probably get slapped silly (meh!) for saying this, but Travis, in the end embodies that alpha-male that some women out there fantasize in their romantic head. As simple as that.
Although, one tiny disclaimer, I will never recommend this book to young girls (not that I'm surrounded by any, thankfully). After all, fantasy/fiction is one thing and reality another.