I was kind of disappointed in this book. I have read a few of Julie Anne Peter's book and I absolutely loved them. I don't know what happened with this one. The writing is very choppy and half the time what the characters are saying don't make sense- its like jumping into the middle of a conversation where you don't really know what's going on. Johanna (main C) will be saying one thing then Reeve (her g.f) changes the subject completely and says something else and Johanna answers her about what she was taking about before Reeve changed the subject.
Johanna is the main character in the story. She is a lesbian. She lives in am apartment that's on the property of her parents house (I think its above the garage?). He parents both died and her sister and her husband live in the main house. Johanna is obsessed with this girl Reeve who is also a lesbian. Johanna even goes as far as having sexual erotic daydreams about Reeve in a place she calls "joyland" which to me was really weird and freaky. Its insane how attached Johanna gets to Reeve when they finally begin to, and I use the term loosely, see each other. Johanna finally gets to meet and talk to Reeve after she begins to help Reeve's brother Robbie, with his senior project. The book take place a few weeks before graduation. Just the level of intensity that Johanna feels for Reeve is not really believable to me. I feel like the feelings Johanna throughout the book for Reeve were way too intense given the amount of time they spent together. Usually it was Johanna pulling Reeve closer and Reeve was back away. Plenty of times, while they were out Reeve would get in a mood and bail out on Johanna. It seemed like even though Johanna had Reeve as her girlfriend she was till always chasing her to keep her. It seemed also like Johanna was a little stupid. She let Reeve hit her and while she's bleeding all over herself she's chasing Reeve to get her back and thinking stuff like "Its ok baby. I'm here. Its not your fault". It was just weird, creepy and not believable. I mean the relationship only lasted for like 2 weeks but Johanna was acting like they were together for 10 years. Her feelings just didn't mesh with the story.
Reeve's life is a cesspit. She and her brother Robbie live with their drug induced mother and uncle. Reeve's uncle is her dad's brother and is together with her mother. Her uncle is vicious and physically beats the mother and Reeve. Her father was no better. He used to molest Reeve and Robbie when they were little. She is a very troubled girl who only knows violence in her life and so she solves problems by hitting. She hits her brother Robbie, who is a highly functioning autistic. She hits Johanna. She has hit all her other girlfriends too and some even try to warn Johanna but she wouldn't listen. Reeve is also moody and just plain mean. Any little thing Johanna says sets her off. I totally understand why Reeve is the way she is...come on her life sucks but Johanna is stupid to get involved and stay with her when Reeve is beating her up.
Johanna's friend Novak is a pig. She uses Johanna's apartment to sleep with her boyfriend. She basically tells Johanna that she want to use the apartment and then kicks Johanna out of it when she comes with her boyfriend. The stupid thing? Johanna lets her take advantage of her. Its ridiculous.
I gotta say the only person I liked in the book was Robbie. Like I said he is autistic and weird but he is also sweet and protecting. Many time he protects Reeve and his mother from his uncle and tries to hit the uncle but Reeve always stops him. He also protects Johanna went Reeve started to ounch her in the face. He is also a huge guy. He is very simple minded but he is not stupid. He has been through what Reeve has but he never hits anyone unless he is provoked and that is only when anyone threatens to take his instrument case he carries around. Reeve takes care of Robbie but she also calls him mean names like 'asstard' and she hits him. When I say hit, I mean she punches him in the face or stomach. Many times Johanna tries to get Reeve away from Robbie when she is hitting him. Robbie never hits her back though. I just got really angry when Reeve hit Robbie and I wanted to deck her in the face. What happens to him is sad and I was really pissed about it too.
The romance was crazy, with Reeve being hot one minute and cold the next. Some of the things she did to Johanna were horrible but Johanna was an idiot for taking it. Reeve gets Johanna fired from her job when she is caught stealing and Johanna covers for her. Johanna also volunteers at a Hospice center and Reeve gets her kicked out of there as well when she tries to make out with Johanna on a bed that contains a comatose girl. That was completely disgusting and yet.. Johanna still wanted her. Reeve change Johanna in such a way that Johanna didn't want anyones help when the shit hit the fan at Reeves house and Johanna even went so far as to assault her own sister. And this book was a lot more graphic that I would have liked. I mean I read Y.A. novels for a reason. If I wanted to read a book with sexual language and sex scenes I'd read a trashy romance novel.
This book was so not my cup of tea but I'd still tell people to read it and formulate your own opinion. Hopefully the next book by Peters will be better.
This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews