Release Date: April 23, 2013
Published By: Sourcebooks FireReview Copy: ARC, Netgalley
There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.
Where do I even begin with this one. For the majority of the book I was positive, POSITIVE that this would be one of the books that I could breeze through a review and not regret a moment. Sadly that is not the way it turned out and I have to say I am more than disappointed. I know that I am a minority when it comes to this and yet I find myself oddly at peace with that. Gurtler is clearly talented and I did love her writing and the premise but in the end it was the last few chapters that killed this for me. That being said I would like to point out that I am normally not like that but I think this one may have been a bit over the edge for me.
I can honestly say that the consistency of the characters and how everything was set up was wonderful and so easy to fall into. Heck I started and finished this one in a day so it had to be interesting. Not to mention I know what it is like to loose a best friend that you always thought would be there over the last thing that you expect. This story is set in the summer with two girls that mean the world to each other and yet everything seemed so one sided because Grace wanted nothing more than to be the best friend she could no matter what it cost her. Though heart breaking at times I got it, when you love someone you stand by them no matter what.
Grace was such a beautiful person and sacrificed so much for her best friend. She wasn't someone that went out of her way to stand out but to me her strong personality spoke for itself. I loved that she was not afraid to be an individual and was proud of how good she was at what she loved. Grace was a kick ass paintball player and there was no doubt that she could go places with it. The thing was that she was giving up everything just trying to be a good friend, trying to make excuses for the sorry excuse for a best friend Kya. Friendships are give and take and although sometimes it may be more give than take there comes a time when you need the other person and they should be there. I found myself getting fusterated and waiting for the moment that Grace would put her foot down or things would get better but for 90% of the read she just got walked all over.
I'm not even sure if I should speak of Kya but I feel seeing she is what killed the book for me I feel I should. Kya is the worlds WORST friend. To start I had a measure of sympathy for her, I really honestly did but what happened in your past only excuses so much. There are no true words to describe just how upset and angry I became as the story progressed and Kya didn't even express any true regret at all of the things she was messing up. This girl honestly seemed to think it was okay to destroy her best friends life and make no attempt to fix anything...ANYTHING! I understand that sometimes the things in our past haunt us but destroying the only person that truly loves you and knows what happened is beyond my comprehension. Then the kicker and what finally pushed me over the edge was that when all was said and done she basically stabbed Gabby in the back. She had ruined chances for Gabby and then was like "well now that you aren't protecting my ass I'm going to actually try." WTF?????? Those aren't her words but that's what her actions spelt out to me.
Guys please don't just take my word on this one because I can honestly see the appeal. The writing was superb and the pacing was fantastic, Gurtler is clearly a talented writer and I would be more than happy to pick up anything else I see of hers. Sadly my problems with the ending of this one got to be too much and though I expected a fall out I wasn't prepared for the reasons or the horrid behaviour of Kya. I think that as I said I am the minority when it comes to my opinion of this one and will continue to be it for as long as people read it. Though it was not my cup of tea in the end I enjoyed most of the book and the lessons learned.
Kya's secret was lodged right in the middle of our three-way friendship. I wished she'd let me tell him. But she wouldn't. And because he didn't know, he was harder on her. He saw me taking her side. Sometimes he didn't understand my need to protect her her from the world.
I knew James had a strong sense of right and wrong. He didn't understand that sometimes circumstances could sprout up a lot of grey. Bad things sometimes tarnished people's souls. Kya had stains. There were some things she couldn't get over. It wasn't all black and white.
She narrowed her eyes at me and said in a mock angry voice. "You sure want to go out with his cousin? What do we know about him? Other than he is Canadian. My dad says we shouldn't trust Canadians. All they do is talk about hockey and the weather. And flaunt their cheap healthcare."
"Levi plays soccer," I told her. "Not hockey."
It hurt and my eyes filled. "You're ruining everything," I hissed at /kya as she stumbled into the stall.