Saturday, 18 October 2014
Review: Damaged by Amy Reed
Two teens must come to terms with their friends death and her afterlife in this gritty and realistic novel from the author of Beautiful, Clean, Crazy, and Over You.
When Kinsey's best friend Camille dies in a car accident while she was behind the wheel, she shuts down completely, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. She wants to be left alone during the last few weeks of high school, but Camille's mysterious boyfriend Hunter, who was also in the car that night, has a different idea.
Despite all of Kinsey's efforts, she can't shake Camille, who begins haunting her in dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, she agrees to run away with Hunter to San Francisco. As the pair tries to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions how real her perception of her friendship with Camille was, and whether her former friend's ghost is actually now haunting her. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing.
Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they've lost and accept that they can't outrun pain.
ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by Simon Pulse
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is October 14th and it should be released by the time this post goes live.
This book advertises itself as gritty and it is true to form in it's description. Although this is technically considered in the YA genre it is not the bubble gum teen angst that one can expect from this genre. This story is about people with real problems and real grief.
The underlying theme is a coming of age story meets a dealing with grief story. Both of the main characters in Kinsey and Hunter are deeply flawed with some serious issues. On top of that is the aftermath of their best friend/girlfriend. Put the two together and it is a deeply dysfunctional relationship as they try to overcome the issues that have brought the two of them together.
If you are looking for a love story then I am not sure if this will be the right story for you. While it is present within the story it takes a back burner to the real issues at hand. The battle with the characters ghosts both literally and figuratively is the predominant story-line and it isn't necessarily pretty. From Hunters battle with alcohol and all of the unpleasantness that comes with that to Kinsey's need to control every emotion you experience an unpleasant view of both characters. This makes them more real and the story-line more realistic.
I have read many stories about boy/girl road-trip, running to something when it is actually running away from something but this story is a bit different. It is not glossed over or romanticized like many can be. At times it was raw and emotional and this is what I enjoyed about this read. It offered up a little bit more depth and for that I was grateful.
Reed will now be on my watch list and I look forward to discovering other work from her.
About the Author
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com