So on my young adult research, this popped up. And I honestly think it’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Aside from the fact it’s stalkerish – I mean, this ‘person’ who inhabits others’ bodies for a day at a time is perfectly happy to muck about with people’s lives just to see a girl he’s fallen in love with (in the space of a few hours, by the way). What’s worse is when he explains it to her, she’s perfectly happy to go along with it.
There’s a slight drama added with Nathan, who also goes along with the story super easily. But, as infuriating and typical of the stalker nature of YA lit this book may be, it’s actually terrible as a whole.
It’s lazy. I honestly feel like young adults should be treated as smart, and have a plot according to that. Where is the effort? What is there for them to sink their teeth into? Where, really, is there any credit to the reader? I read the same kind of books when I was a teen as I do now, and would relish some actual setting, or even some explanation.
But – why this happens cannot be explained just yet, I hear you cry. That’s fine – but there should be some effort to elaborate on the mystery, not just ‘I don’t know why I’m like this’ as they pursue one singled out girl.
I could even see the author pitch for diversity, with gay couples, lesbian couples, straight teens, even a girl who identifies herself as male – but the main character views Rhiannon negatively with little snips for not being able to fall in love with them every day, regardless of who they are. I distinctly remember one moment where they go to pick at the fact that she’s more standoffish when they’re female, as if that’s a character fault.
This is, of course, ignoring the fact that she’s a straight female. But, woe! She is so unaccepting. And it’s a recurring undertone.
A – the stupidest named character in the world – expects too much, and the plot is generally thin. There is an attempt at diversity, but it’s just for the sake of inclusion – just like Channel 4’s Sex Box – rather than to aid a real point.
I honestly read this book thinking teenagers need to be given a little more credit. I mean, yes, it’s an accessible and easy to read book, but it is literally so basic I was astounded. There’s no effort to give the book depth and it goes through every cliché of teenage romance, with love being thrown around like it’s the easiest thing in the world. I thought my fury would be bundled into the awful examples it sets, along with many other books I’ve read, but instead this book as a whole just disappoints.
And, one last point, saving a girl from a lame boyfriend isn’t a success in itself if the reality is you want her for yourself. What’s more – it should never be forced. We’ve all been there – a friend has a shitty boyfriend, and you tell her (within reason) that she’d be better off without him. You don’t hound her into it.
In summary – I really dislike this book. Give youngsters some credit. Don’t deal with problems like mental illness and suicide attempts to add some spice and then dumb it down to that level.