College sophomore Sydney had to overcome tragic loss and come to grips with incredible guilt to get where she is, but she’s adjusted well and her life is on the right track. There’s just the pesky little problem of her crush on her roommate’s boyfriend.
Evan is everything she wants, a first since the loss of her boyfriend in high school, and even though they’re just good friends, she can’t help but feel more for him. Too bad he’s dating Melanie, her partying roommate, and as they’re coming up on their one year anniversary, Sydney’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. But then a terrible twist of fate changes everything, when Melanie succumbs to alcohol poisoning, leaving her grieving boyfriend and roommate to finally give into their attraction.
The book starts out with a bang. One moment Sydney and her boyfriend James are typical teenagers, and then in the next moment everything changes so quickly. I knew it was coming, but the author’s delivery played out the scene just as I imagine it would be in real life — without any chance to truly react or even understand. Just tragedy, instant and irreversible. I was hooked.
Time jump two years, and Sydney’s acclimated to life in college. The death of her boyfriend in high school, not to mention the other two innocent lives that were lost, still impacts her, but she has moved on as well as she can. However, partying and alcohol still scare the hell out of her, and while her friends are sympathetic, none of them really change their ways, a fact that ultimately results in Melanie’s death.
Neither Sydney nor Evan wants to rush into anything, though it’s clear their shared attraction dates prior to Melanie’s death. They ultimately give in, of course, but then the sudden and very strange appearance of Melanie’s doppelganger, her younger sister, sparks guilt and jealousy.
If you’re looking for a story that gives hope after tragedy, this is not it. Despite the hint at something wonderful after something terrible, there’s a dark lining that begins to show through and ultimately changes everything. That’s not to say it isn’t a very entertaining read. It’s just not quite the happily ever after one might expect.
The writing was great, the scenes played out just as perfectly as if they were real. Dialogue was witty without being forced, and even though I’ve never been in her shoes, I had no trouble relating to Sydney. But the way the whole thing ended has me wondering just what the point was. That no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse? That attempts at sex in parked cars always result in certain death? That even if you do everything you can to be responsible, you’re going to unwittingly destroy the people you care about, and those that are supposed to care about you are simply duplicitous? I don’t know. The writing was great, and I was hooked until the very end when I began to wonder if the author set out just to screw with us. I’m not sure.