Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Series: Stand Alone
Published: March 8th 2012 by Flux
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives. Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it. Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.
I Give This ...
This story was gritty and dirty, and everything I hope my girls never have to go through as teens. Every character in this story is so broken, that's its hard to imagine any hope in their lives.
I was the most intrigued by Katie. She seemed to have the perfect teen life. But, it seems her mom had her on such a pedestal she forgot to teach her the basics. When her world comes crashing down around her, she does everything she can to stay on top. Even when it means sacrificing her own pride and dignity. It was heartbreaking to watch her suffering. It seemed so unnecessary. Her sister I also felt sorry for. After spending her entire life in her sisters shadow and constantly being made to feel inferior, it's no wonder that she acts the way she does when her sister falls from grace. She's never been the one on top. It would be hard to give that feeling up when you've never had it before.
I had a harder time with the males in the story. Alex was so hard to like. I knew that he was two-faced, bit I just could not see what Katie saw in him. In the end he treated her no better than he treated any other women in his life. I was disgusted with him. Kyle was the only one I think might be able to come out of this travesty somewhat normal. He recognized how screwed up everything was. He seemed to be making moves to fix the problems in his life.
I admired the author's willingness to take on such a wide range of dirty topics found in this novel. But, I honestly found it too much to stomach at times. I'm not one to shy away from this type of stuff, but sometimes it's just too much.