When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Expected publication: May 27th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books
Genre: Young Adult
I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
This is the story of two sisters who have always been close and what happens when one has a secret that she needs the other to keep. The story is written sort of like a diary or letter from Nell to her sister Layla. Within the pages she pours out her thoughts and worries as if to explain the reason for her actions and the adoration and love she has for her sister.
I thought that the bond that the two sisters had was beautiful and I could relate on so many levels. Being a twin, I am extremely close to my sister and totally in tuned to everything about her. Not only is she my sister, fellow blogger and biggest confidante but she is also my best friend. This is often the case with siblings that are close in age which is very apparent in this story. When Layla started to withdraw and act differently it was no surprise that it went unnoticed by everyone except Nell.
The way Reinhardt wrote this book was very effective in allowing us the readers to understand the struggles that Nell had in honouring her sister's trust while fighting her gut that knew things were terribly wrong. You could fully grasp how deep her love for her sister was and how that complicated everything.
Basically this is Nell's story about her inner conflict with the situation with her sister. It is her battle between right and wrong and her unquestionable love for her sister when lines are blurred and there are no easy answers. This is not a story that is resolved as the ending is left open ended. Unfortunately this left me a little disappointed. I would like to have read about the relationship between the sisters after what happens in the final pages. To me, this is where the story would have been most powerful.
Over all I did enjoy it. It was a very quick book to get through and I had it finished in one morning. I just wish that it could have explored the relationship past the last page. I truly feel that the bigger story and battle lies there.
Terri had the opportunity to review this book as well. You can find her thoughts here.
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