A little break from Air Awakens for today because The Row has just been released! Congratulations Jenn!
I love Jenn as an author and a friend. She told me about this book last year during the interview at the Teen Author Smash in Paris. She was still working on it but the few words that she gave me were enough to get me interested. A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook asking bloggers to apply for an ARC (advanced readers copy), I applied and not long after I received the ebook.
I received this book from the publisher but all of my ideas and opinions are my own.
A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.
Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
I had high expectations for this book, seeing as I loved Jenn’s other stand alone Cut Me Free. Jenn has a way of writing that grabs you and doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page. She managed to do that here as well.
I basically made up my mind whether the father hand done it or not before I even opened the book. This is the dilemma that Riley is faced with and she doesn’t know with to do with it at first. My thoughts kept lingering in the back of my mind during the entire book, but there were certain points in the book where I wasn’t so sure of my convictions. It is almost spooky how well Jenn knows how to portray characters and make them real.
No character was unnecessary and they were all very real to me. Eventhough I’ve never been in a situation like that and hope I never will be, I felt their emotions and I could relate to them. I felt their fear, happiness and their helplessness. The combination of Riley and Jordan was epic! The connection and the banter that they have rivals the Gilmore Girls. She is the daughter of the convicted murderer who may or may not have done it. He is the son of the man who arrested her father. This brings a lot of conflict. I almost wanted to take out some popcorn, but I couldn’t let go of the book.
I’ve never really come across this subject in YA and it felt like a breath of fresh air. There are books that center around this, but not in such a way. I learned a lot from this book. Prejudices are front and center here and it can’t hurt to be made aware of how it can destroy a person in the world we now live in.
They only thing I would have done differently is the cover. It is certainly fitting for the story, but I don’t really like it. I loved her other covers better.
I can’t wait to read her new project. She told me some things about it and I am really happy. As soon as I can tell you more I will.
So go out and buy this awesome book, because it is certainly worth it!
|J. R. Johansson|YA, Thriller|Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)|ISBN: 9780374300258|Pages: 352|