But then...the unthinkable. Janelle is hit by a quickly moving truck from out of nowhere - and dies. Or at least she thinks she does. She's brought back to life by Ben - some random stoner kid from her school.
Now all Janelle has are questions. How did Ben save her? Where did the pickup truck come from? And her dad's mysterious FBI case - how is it all related? In the end, finding answers may come down to saving the world.
MY THOUGHTS -First, I was hit with what an incredible writer Elizabeth Norris is. The words..they practically sang. I could feel the beach wind and smell the salty air. I could taste, breathe, see like Janelle. I became Janelle.
On top of this, I was shocked (in the best of all possible ways) to learn that Norris used to live in San Diego, and, therefore, is an expert on SD geography and the local's favorites. I mean, Roberto's in Del Mar? I eat there probably once a week during the summer, no joke. Highway 101? Love that drive. The 5? I drive it every day to go to work! The Panera Bread in Mira Mesa? Again, I pass it every day. I feel right at home in this story...but that just made the mass mayhem and destruction all the more real for me. There were refugees holed up in Qualcomm Stadium, guys!! I can just see it happening!! :O
In any case. Brilliant, I tell you. It was brilliant.
CHARACTER NOTES -Janelle and I would definitely be besties. Or, erm...I would be that annoying friend who follows her around 24/7 because she's SO flipping cool!! No joke. I could really relate to her, especially in her relationship with her dad and brother. The sarcasm and bantering reminded me of my own family!
I love that the best friend and the love interest were separate. The absence of arguing between them. The absence of a love triangle. It really really was quite refreshing.
Alex, the best friend, was always there for Janelle, at all costs. I became very emotionally attached to him and just love him to pieces.
But, you know, hopeless romantic that I am...I can't help but point out that I'm extreeeemely partial to Ben.
I can't even tell you how lovely he was - so perfectly portrayed and defined. You need to read the book to truly understand his pure awesomeness. His debates with Janelle, how much he cares, his absolutely shocking revelation... Well, you get the picture. Every girl would like to have a Ben, let's just say that.
STORY NOTES -I think this book should win an award for most tripped out twist ever! Did you see that coming? I sure didn't. To be fair, I don't read much sci-fi, so maybe to a sci-fi reading pro it might seem less shocking, but no siree, not to me! Plus, it made me want to read sci-fi all the time!
One thing leads to another. Nothing is left untouched. There are no story holes. It's only a tiny bit confusing at the start, but when things are explained, they're crystal clear. And I can promise you, your jaw will be glued to the floor!
You know, I don't believe I've ever read one negative review about this book. I think that right there should say a lot about how badly you need to read this.
Basically, it's epic. It's insanely cool and awesomely insane, totally C-R-A-Z-Y. And you know what, Elizabeth Norris knows how to cut out your heart and suck out your soul with her killer ending. Cruel, woman! Cruel! I totally cried. I did. It. Was. Gut-wrenchingly beautiful!!!
SUMMING IT UP -Theoretically brilliant! You won't understand unless you decide to accept the inevitable and cave and buy and devour this book like an Extraordinary Dessert. My friends, what on earth are you waiting for?!
For the Parents -
There are few books I can handle with the F-bomb dropped 50+ times. This was one of the few. Everyone drops a few cuss words in this story, but the group of stoners - Elijah in particular - is the worst. Elijah has created a very cringe-worthy art of fitting an F-bomb into every sentence. And I mean, literally - every sentence. Besides this excessive use of poor and obscene English, there is one very steamy make-out session and the characters sleep side-by-side in bed (but nothing happens).
Recommended to ages 16+ - or to those who can handle ridiculous amounts of cussing.