Author: Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink YA Books
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A mystery of danger and intrigue that will leave you turning the page until the very end!
Willow Lamott has known since the day her best friend Ashton Keller was sent to prison that there was no way he could be guilty of killing one of their classmates. But with three eye witnesses, she was the only one on his side. Of course, when Ashton pleads guilty, it doesn’t help the case. He spent four years in juvenile hall before being released and allowed home to Gilt Hollow. His parents have moved away and haven’t spoken to him since he was convicted. Willow and her mom and brother have moved into his old house as the caretakers of the estate. Ashton is back at school determined to get revenge on those that sent him away. Willow watches him and sees he has changed over the years and starts to wonder if he really is as innocent as she has believed all along. Ashton came back to clear his name but seeing Willow again and being back in her life makes him want to be as innocent as she has always seen him as. As he finds clues to the truth of what happened to send him away, dark secrets come out and Ashton realizes his coming back to Gilt Hollow might have put everyone he loves in grave danger.
I rarely I cannot put a book down, but this one just might fall in that category. I picked it up thinking it looked interesting. I am always looking for a good YA story that I can recommend to entice young readers to give a try. This one fits the bill and then some. The story hooked me from the beginning and kept me from being focused on much else. The relationship between the characters was so enchanting that I couldn’t wait to see if they would end up together of if there was something deeper going on. Willow is the type of character that many young girls will easily be able to relate to. She is not very popular so she shuts herself away in her studies and tries to find solace in the things she can control. After her years of defending Ashton, she too has become an outcast. It would make it an easy transition that they would pick up their friendship right where they left off, but that’s not the case. I actually liked the way Langdon went with this. It would have been easy to have them back to being all buddy-buddy, but she didn’t take the easy way out. She let the relationship between Willow and Ashton develop as it rightfully should. The characters acted in a believable manner, not just in a way that has been overdone through the years in YA novels, and for that I am thankful. Ashton had years of angst built up inside him that could have led him down a horrible path, and almost did a few times. This is my first book to read by Lorie Langdon but I am positive it won’t be my last. I highly recommend this to readers young and old. It’s not just for young adults. Older readers will easily find themselves sucked into the story and enchanted by the characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blink in exchange for an honest and thorough review. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.