Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: Stand Alone
Published: Available September 12, 2011 by Harcourt
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother. Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.
I Give This ...
The description of this book is extremely misleading. I was hoping for a thriller. It's hardly that at all. The first couple of chapters due deal with Willa's father and the horrendous crime he committed. But, it's over so quickly that the focus quickly shifts to the aftermath.
I wasn't ever really sure I liked Willa. I'm not positive the best time to get to know a character is during a crisis like this. But maybe it helps her show her true colors. At times I thought she was snippy and seemed ungrateful. But if forcing the issue was the only way to know her mother's past as well as her own, then so be it. She had been compliant for so long. She put up with her mother refusing to talk about anything and watching her stepsisters have everything handed to her on a silver spoon.
I never really adjusted to the idea of a family drama instead of a thriller. I didn't mind the idea that Willa wants to go the the funeral of her stepsisters, but I disliked how she was just dropped on the doorstep of a family friend for the occasion. Her mom refused to go with her. I was also not prepared for all the her mother had been hiding from her. I think she really grew up believing one thing about her father when almost the exact opposite was true. I disliked how her lawyer told her it was ok to go to the house and take what she wanted and that the family friend practically forced her to go. I don't care that it legally is probably hers.
What I did enjoy that I wish had been explored so much more were the dynamics in the new family. I think there was a lot of buried resentment that we just barely skimmed the surface of. It seemed like everything came out into the open and things were all better. I'm pretty sure things don't work like that in real life. I also didn't like the added fact that Willa cut. It just felt like an extremely unnecessary aspect to the story. Because, you know there wasn't enough going on.
Overall, just a disappointing book. I really had high hopes for this one. I hope they change the description a little because I think many people be let down by it. It gives the idea that the book is about something when it isn't that way at all.