Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando

Since her boyfriend died in a car accident several months ago Natalie has been struggling to work through her grief.  Her parents arrange to take Natalie and her three best friends on a cruise for her 17th birthday to help her move on.  On the first night of the cruise Natalie meets an intriguing boy who invites her to join him at the hot tub.  When she returns with her swimsuit, the boy is gone.  And then when she hears a rumor that someone might've fallen overboard and the ship's crew does a passenger head count, Natalie begins to wonder if her mystery boy might have had an accident.  As she begins looking for him she uncovers more secrets than she could've imagined.

Sounds intriguing, no?  Then you would be better off sticking with this description of the premise rather than ruining it by reading the entire boring book.  The writing totally left me cold along with all the characters, Natalie in particular.  Why is she so invested in this boy she barely knows who was condescending and snarky to her during the few minutes they spent together?  The first impression is bad and every new revelation makes him worse and yet she chases after him on sea and land.  After meeting mystery boy's twin, she forms an attachment to him even though he is one of those characters I hate - "I have important information that will clear this all up for you but I can't tell you and will instead keep you hanging."  But he is so brooding and mysterious that she can't quit him because that's a type of man we should be encouraging our teens to pursue.  Ugh.  To top it off, Natalie's friends are equally not interesting and explored so superficially that it just left me wondering if was supposed to be a clue that her usually reserved friend was now outgoing.  Give me a mystery where I care what happens.

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