3.0 out of 5 stars --
Outlandish and melodramatic teenage revenge scheme that was entirely
unbelievable, predictable, and ultimately frustrating. |
Frances Mace, aged 14, and her parents were enjoying a cruise on the PERSEPHONE when the ship was attacked by gunmen and everyone was shot -- except for Frances, her new shipboard friend, Elizabeth (Libby) O'Martin and Senator Wells and his son, Grayer. Frances and Libby went overboard and spent 7 days floating in the ocean before they were found. Unfortunately, Libby died just before rescue when her father's yacht fortuitously discovers the life raft in the vast sea. The Senator and his son were "rescued" quickly and told the world that the ship had sunk because of a rogue wave. Frances knows he is lying and that her life might be in danger as a witness to the 323 murders. Instead of letting Frances return to her life as an orphan with no other relatives to take her in, the wealthy Mr. Cecil O'Martin decides that it would be better for everyone if Frances assumed the identity of his dead daughter. Thus, Frances became Libby.
Flash forward 4 years later, Frances (now Libby) returns from where she'd hidden out abroad to confront the Senator with her suspicions that he was responsible for the attacks that left her family dead and her life ruined. She has planned for every contingency in order to exact her revenge -- except for one. Frances and Grayer (Grey) fell "in love" (oh yes, life long soul mate kind of love) during their week on the ship. Even though he meets her as Libby, can he sense that she is the girl (Frances) he loved? Can Frances (Libby) keep up the pretense and take revenge on him and his father as they destroyed her life? To further complicate matters, Frances (Libby) finds that the boy who was in love with the real Libby, Shepherd, lives in the home since he was also taken in by Libby's father. Will he know that the returned Libby (Frances) is a fake?
There is a lot here to try to buy into -- and my ability to suspend disbelief was more than tested. I found that the most ridiculous was the notion of this "love" between these 14 year olds. Honestly, I work in a high school and I am quite familiar with real teen "romance" and the author's descriptions of the "feelings" and physical reactions I thought were too mature for that age group and sounded false. Aside from that, the story seemed an awful lot like the TV drama, REVENGE, and the conclusion seemed flat and unsatisfying. I actually bought this for the library at the high school where I work and will be quite interested to hear teen reactions to the story as I am sure they will think differently. I like to read YA every now again to remind myself of why I don't read YA.
Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group
for the e-book ARC to review.