This book, OMG!! I didn't know if this was going to be a win for me. The contemporary YA genre is so hit and miss for me that I usually go into them with the thought that I won't be finishing the book. So when I find something like this that I'm just head over heels for, TOTALLY FANGIRLING over, I just have to tell you and EVERYONE ELSE! This is one of those books!
This book is in dual POV with Juliet and Declan. Juliet is dealing with the death of her mother and Declan is dealing with the death of his sister and the re-incarceration of his father. Both of these characters bring so much to this book. Juliet now doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. She wanted to be a photographer like her mom. But after her mom's death that no longer seems like an option she wants to explore. She dropped her photo class in high school and pretty much treats that part of the school like the plague.
Declan on the other hand got in a car blind drunk. Blacked out and ran into a wall. So he has community service and his family life is pretty much crap. No one sees him as anything but a delinquent mess up who is going to amount to nothing other than being in jail.
I felt so much for both these characters and what they were going through. Declan I felt for more, just because well I'm a mom and the things his mom and step dad and his biological dad put him through made me want to jump into the book. I wanted to give him a really big hug and tell him that his family just needs to take a hike.
But that is kind of what this book is about. Which brings us to the story and the message it conveys to the reader. This book had two really big twists. I just didn't see either of them coming at all. Nothing nodda nope! That doesn't happen very often. But this one did and wow they were both just out there and really made you second guess everything. The next thing about the story was it was very funny. The friendship that Rev. and Declan have is something that we should all strive for. They can joke and horse around and it's amazing. I really wish I had a friend like that. And I hope that my girls find something like that. The pacing was well done and it is a very easy read. The message it conveys is a really good one and I think everyone should read this. And well I think it would be great for schools. The message of looking beneath the surface was wonderful.
This book shows and tells you to look past what other people do. That one event in your life is like a photograph frozen in time. That it can depict one moment but that one moment doesn't have to govern the rest of your life. You can choose to move past it. Leave it behind and move on. At the time I was reading this we went and watched the live action rendition of Beauty and the Beast and it really got me thinking that loosely without any Magic. You could really say that this was a retelling of that story. Juliet is the beauty of course and Declan the beast. So the next time you’re in a situation where you think you know all the facts, think first. Get all the facts! Ask questions, etc. Don't just take a picture and think that's everything. Turn the page and find out what's really going on.
This was a beautifully written story that I will be sure to visit again in the future. I cannot wait to see what other stories Brigid comes up with. This one for sure will be sticking with me for some time. I couldn't put it down and neither will you!
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope. Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past. When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.