Author: Lisa M. Cronkhite
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Milly has a huge problem on her hands. She is being bullied by Amelia Norris. Day in and day out, Amelia torments Milly and even threatens to hurt her, but she can’t tell anyone—not a soul. Milly’s reasoning—she does not want anyone to know where her tormentor lives. They only share one thing in common. Both co-exist as one in the same body. Milly is so disconnected from her past that she feels compelled to find out what truly happened to her when her parents were still alive. After a mysterious fire, she and Grandpa George move into Aunt Rachel's Victorian home where Milly then begins to unravel puzzling clues to her family history. Through dreams and scattered memories, Milly journals her breaking story, trying to cope by putting the shattered pieces back together, all the while resisting with her inner demon. Amelia is determined to cut Milly out of the real world—literally.Milly starts to wonder who her real family is after stumbling across Aunt Rachel’s notebook—having the intuitive sense that something terribly awful is missing. All she had thought to be true now seems like one big lie.
When I first read a description of this book, I was highly intrigued. Books dealing with mental illness of some sort will always have a high place on my to-read list. Also, I admit that cover is wonderful.
Although, I ended up being more disappointed than pleased. From the beginning, I realized this wasn't going to be some greatly written book with wonderful descriptions and whatnot - and I was fine with it. That wasn't what was really bothering me. I was likely to look past it and give this book a higher rating than I did if it weren't for things that started irking me to no end.
First, it was the plot - or lack of it, better to say. At least in the first 60% of a book. I could've easily read this in one day but it dragged to three because I was getting bored and annoyed. All we really get is Milly and Amelia. There are few characters dropping by here and there but mostly, we are inside of Milly's head and all we get to see is her and her other personality. I know it's hard to move the plot around when you're writing in first person, I get that, but it's still possible to have more plot than partying, hot new guy and a fire. I feel as though we didn't get to meet any characters properly by the end of a book and I felt at loss. I'll admit that the other 40% of a book were better and there was something more going on but it couldn't affect my rating any more than this.
Second is a love interest. I felt like a word 'hot' was used hundreds of times in the first part of a book. I get it, he's hot, don't need to point it out every time you see him or talk about him. You're annoying everyone around you, as well as reading. Apart from that, we don't get much of anything else. I'm not even sure what he looks like, except from 'hot'. Moreover, I feel as if the author tried a bit too forcefully to connect Milly and the hot guy before the kiss. Before that, they barely had spoken and then suddenly they're revealing their darkest secrets at the party where music must've been too loud and everyone around them were drunk. It was so unrealistic that I just couldn't buy it.
Then we also have the guy that Amelia is crushing on (Matt? I think? I don't know I forgot?). We also don't find out anything about him, except that he's a jock or something and he's, of course, wow-shit-damn hot. There could've been two interesting guys. Instead, we have shallow figures of both of them.
Third is slut-shaming and drink-shaming (how else do I call it?). In the first part of a book, I couldn't complain much. After that, there is a party and everything goes to hell. We get Milly complaining about people drinking and getting mad at her best friend for wanting to have sex. Okay, seriously, n o. You don't do that. It's fine, you don't have to drink and you don't have to have sex but don't go telling other people to do the same. There's nothing wrong with drinking occasionally. There is nothing wrong with sex. And, of course, Milly's hot guy is so perfect he doesn't drink either, never did, never will and thinks it's disgusting. I blame Kindle for deleting all my notes because every other sentence was highlighted and had exclamation points in notes to it. And then we have her best friend sleeping with a guy Amelia likes and she becomes this disgusting slut that has to mess with her guy when, in reality, Milly/Amelia didn't have anything to do with him! Okay, Amelia liked him but it wasn't like he was her boyfriend. Of course, she never forgives her best friend and it's the only friendship she ever had, just blown away because of a guy. Wow, really, you're a true friend.
Forth and last, it's the ending. I mean, come on! I was so ridiculous I thought I was reading the wrong book. I understand that the author wanted to make this huge plot twist that no reader would expect but I just couldn't buy it. Maybe it was too big for me. It was just too unrealistic, too ridiculous for me to believe it. Also, the characters' lack of emotion was a problem there too. Milly was getting mad at everything and anything and there was so much info-dumping through the whole book it just wasn't working for me.
I wanted to like this book, I really, really did but I just didn't. I'm not even sure that 2.5 stars is really what I want to rate this but I'll settle on it. Mental illness wasn't too badly explored, and the parts of a plot dealing with it, especially as we were nearing to the end, were good. I just wish that the other things were better.