“I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.
On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.
The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.
Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.
The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.
Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.
Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Hello! Allison here with another ARC.
This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in January at ALA Midwinter 2017 in exchange for an honest review. Quotes, characters, and actions in this book are subject to change. Thank you to the publisher for this opportunity.
Stars (Out of 10): 4
Overall Thoughts: Okay, when I first read this description, I was like this sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Reading it, though, I was frustrated. I had to force myself to read it. This book is full of cliches, some of my least favorite ones too. Don’t get me wrong, the potential for a good story is all there despite the cliches, but a good story never comes. This book had an amazing concept, but a poor execution of said concept.
The Good: The plot twist at the end almost made me give it three stars. It had amazing foreshadowing and put a lot of the book in perspective.However, upon thinking back on it, my love of this plot twist does not extend to my feelings of this book. Despite some good parts, I still can say that I did not like the book.
The Bad: Like I said: good concept, bad execution. There are unnecessary characters by the bucket loads. There are cliches upon cliches. There are parts that are just frustrating and unnecessary in general.There are messages sent in this book that I am not entirely comfortable with.
*Spoilers down below*
The Characters: Okay, occasionally, the characters were good. Lake, especially is a pretty amazing character. She is complex and is trying so hard to handle her grief in a world where grief isn’t handled correctly due to the flexibility between life and death. However, she falls victim to my least favorite realistic fiction cliche: girl is with boyfriend for a very long time and then she suddenly meets a guy who is so different than him and so against status quo, therefore making him better. Despite the circumstances being slightly different, the cliche still stands. Lake even describes how different Ringo looks compare to Will and how she likes the look more. Gag.
My next least favorite cliche happened. Penny and Will, actually super cool characters, have a secret and that’s the secret they’re privately messaging each other behind Lake’s back. While nothing romantic happens between them, Lake gets the impression that Will would eventually have chosen Penny. I was not happy that this is the secret cliche that Baker decided to go with. Sometimes, the boyfriend and bestfriend don’t have to turn out to be jerks. Sometimes, they can be nice, amazing people without any secrets that ruin their legacy, and the main character still wouldn’t have to choose between them. She can simply decide that it wouldn’t be fair to bring one back without bringing back the other. Please don’t turn these nice characters into lowkey shady jerks just so you can reason your character getting with the love interest in 19 days.
There are some characters that serve a purpose for being there. Matt is there to be the third option and just be a jerk. But he gets character development as the story goes on, even if it’s slightly sudden. The parents also get character development, which is good since most of the adults in this book are just jerks.
There are some characters that don’t really serve a purpose for being there. Despite how quirky these characters and some of them are even lovable, Ringo, the cafe characters, and Maya serve very little purpose. Maya has one scene (in the present) where she causes tension and misleads Lake, but other than that, she doesn’t do much. The cafe characters are quirky and lovable, but they serve in the spot of Penny upon her absence. Ringo has his up moments since he is the love interest, but he doesn’t really add anything that wasn’t already there in the book. I understand young adult fiction thinks there always needs to be a relationship in books, but that’s not true.
The Plot: Take out the Ringo and cafe characters plot and the Penny and Will secrets plot and I would have loved this book. It would have been a story of a girl learning how to grieve for her friends in a world where grieving is halted by the possibility of resurrection. She would have still been able to make the same choice in the end, except it would be more meaningful. She would be learning to move on in a way that is very different than what she does in the actual book. This could have been a good story.
Instead, we are stuck with what we have. Not all of it needs to be there. The plot twist only affects the Penny and Will decision and Lake and Matt’s perception of each other. It never touches the Ringo and cafe characters plot, making me believe it is even more unnecessary.The scavenger hunt is cute, but the reveal perverts it. Plus, Lake making fun of it also perverts it. Because that’s sooo in character for her…The Matt plot was very interesting and addressed topics that I liked, such as the complexity of sibling relationships, whether it is okay to dislike a disabled person, and more.