Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Vengeance by Megan Miranda

SUMMARY: Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn't matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker's father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can't forgive Delaney until he knows why.

OPINION: DECKER. Oh. Decker. Full disclosure, I ended Fracture with a serious love/hate feeling going on for Decker. I wanted to kick him as much as I wanted to hug him. So the wait for this book was a whole lot of constant cries of 'DECKER!' to Megan. And finally. Finally I got to read his story.

And he really sort of broke me. It's clear in Fracture he's got a lot going on. He messes up. He's confused. He tries so hard. He's solid. He's this whole mix of things, and Vengeance only opens the door into him so much more. This book is everything I love so much about YA. A boy who is such a mess, who knows that maybe part of what he feels is out of line but he can't help it still, who wants things to get better and be easier but doesn't really know how for that to happen. A boy who is going through some really awful things at home. A boy who has such intense anger and grief, geared towards his best friend and the girl he's fallen for.

Yeah. Talk about a messy situation. I ached so hard for him during this book. I was so emotionally vested I couldn't walk away. And pretty much just didn't sleep to see what would happen. And this is truly one of those books that I feel is a stunning portrayal of how perspective dictates reader perception and feelings. Decker treats Delaney pretty badly for some parts of this book, and yet I never blamed him or disliked him for it. Having known her so well in Fracture (and let's be honest, his treatment of her there, too, is part of why I wanted to kick him), I certainly didn't dislike her. I felt awful for her. And yet, I couldn't really turn my back on Decker either. And if this was in Delaney's perspective, I'm not sure I would be as solidly behind Decker. And in that, I think Megan's raw talent genuinely shines.

No, Decker isn't perfect. Yes, he does some messed up things. But he's hurting, and that emotional atmosphere is so infused throughout this book, I couldn't help but be sucked right under with him. He goes through such tremendous changes in this books, things built on changes from Fracture but delved into so much more. And Delaney, for all the hurts she endures, still pulls me in as well, this girl who has faced some pretty crazy things and yet somehow fights through it. I love her and Decker as friends, and I certainly ship them so hard romantically. They are a pair I feel just fit so well together, even if Decker has to figure some things out on his own first. Everything about this book appealed to me, and add in the thriller element I've come to adore Megan for, and the well done pacing, and this book is a knockout in every way.

Source: ARC borrowed
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: February 4, 2014

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