My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was completely blown away by this story. I let this one sit on my shelf for quite a while because it didn’t really seem like the type of book I would read, but once I became desperate I finally read it and loved it! I love the way the author used second person speaking to the reader as if the reader is the narrator’s sister Layla.
The narrator is Nell who loves her sister Layla and always saw herself as the lesser sister.
Nell’s character really spoke to me because I loved my older sister and always felt like I was in her shadow. If I did anything she liked I was “copying” her even if I liked it. too. She was always better than me at most things.
Nell’s narration does ramble a little bit, especially at beginning, but it is interesting and is written how a fourteen year old thinks but in letter format (it has much better grammar and spelling and is much longer than any letter a fourteen year old would ever write), but the narration is still fascinating.
One of the most interesting things was seeing how much a secret stressed Nell. My sister and I share a fair amount, and I can’t imagine what I would do if my sister told me something like Layla told Nell.
I thought the relationships were well handled and the situations realistic. It was a very realistic story in both the setting and the character interactions showing people facing challenges of today’s society.
I loved this story and highly recommend it.
Spoilers contained in the following thoughts: I don’t often do spoilers, but I wanted to comment on two things. Number one, I loved how Nell ended up with Felix. I much prefer a guy friend become a romantic interest to some kind of cute guy she doesn’t really know hooking up with her. Number two, I loved the ending! It made it so that the book was about the stress of keeping the secret, not the blow out from the secret coming out. Its Nell explaining to her sister right before the meeting why she’s going to betray her sister’s trust and spill the secret. I loved how open the ending was left. Its very different from most books that will give you a ton of epilogues so that nothing about the ending is left for interpretation and imagination. I like being able to think about where the book is going. End Spoiler
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Random House Children’s in return for an honest review.