When 16-year-old Abigail’s mother dies in Scotland–leaving a faded photo, a weirdly cryptic letter, and a one-way ticket to America–she feels nothing. Why should she? Her mother gave her away when she was a baby, leaving her to grow up on an anti-nuclear commune and then in ugly foster homes. But the letter is a surprise in more ways than one: Her father is living in California. What’s more, Abigail discovers she has an eighteen-year-old sister, Becky. And the two are expecting Abigail to move in with them.
After struggling to overcome her natural suspicions of a note from beyond the grave (not to mention anything positive) Abigail grows close to her newfound sister. But then Becky is found dead, the accidental victim of an apparent drug overdose. As Abigail wrestles with her feelings and compiles a “Book of Remembrance” of her sister’s short life, she uncovers a horrifying global plot aimed at controlling teen behavior: one that took her sister’s and mother’s lives, with vast implications.
I'll like to say that I'm not a big YA contemporary reader, however, I liked to think I'm a good judge on picking books of this genre to read, and I'm glad that I was right about this one for the most part. With my very forgetful nature, I knew I wanted to read this book, however, I couldn't quite remember what it was about. All I could remember was that it was about a girl whose mother (who had abandoned her) had died and she travels to America. And, that it involved some underground movement and street art. Which considering the description of the book (mainly the part about Abigail's sister) seems a bit of a spoiler since it doesn't really happen until about more than halfway through the book, I'm pretty glad about my current forgetfulness.
It's an interesting plot. Now when I think about it, and I can remember when I try, when I first signed up to be part of the tour, I remember thinking that it sounded original. This controlling miscreant teens, I don't think I've read anything like that before. Though one thing I found odd, was that one character had lost interest in his art after taking this drug. This reason this seemed odd to me was because it had always seemed to me that the most artistic people are smarter than those who are not, not always just in general. It just seemed like a strange thing to want to take from someone just because they're misbehaving.
Right from the beginning I liked the character Abigail, which is probably why I was able to jump right into the book. Actually many of the characters I liked, Camelia and Becky for example, though I wish we would have been able to gotten to know both these characters a little more. However, though I really didn't get to know these characters didn't mean that I didn't feel for them. There were a few moments when I did get a little teary-eyed, after things happened with Becky and there was a time or two when Abigail looked back at times with Nieve (the woman who raised her before her death). There are also moments when I laughed, like Abigail thinking that everyone was thinking about her on the potty or what being in heels meant to her. The latter part reminded me of Georgia Nicolson and her red bottomosity.
Okay, so it was a quick read (did I already say that, I can't remember), I feel like there was probably more that was missing and could have been said. The ending for example was kind of open-ended, it was a bit disappointing I'm not going to lie. We were also given this random romance thing that I'm not really sure why it was there. Also, I completely guessed the whole Bren thing.
I would give it a 3/5.
Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work. She worked as a probation and parole officer for ten years. She’s married to screenwriter Sergio Casci, and they have two children.
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