“It’s not exactly easy living in a shrine to your dead sister. Since birth, I’ve known that everyone loved Shannon. She was perfect—beautiful, smart, talented. And me? Not so much. My parents always expected me to live up to her greatness. But I could never measure up to her, so why even try?
This summer, I’ve started reading the journal Shannon kept just before she died . . . and suddenly nothing is what I thought it was. The more secrets I learn about Shannon and our family, the more everything changes. And as it turns out, facing the truth is no cakewalk, either.”
This is one of those books where the cliche “words can’t express how I feel” rings true. I had originally purchased it as one of my “fun reads”, ones that I don’t intend to review, but really want to read. Once I got into it I knew I had to share it with you all.
Summer is such a strong character. In school she’s kind of, as she puts it, lazy. I think she’s mostly “lazy” because she doesn’t want to compete with Shannon, her dead sister. She kind of just scoots by in life thinking she’s the rebel of the family. As the book goes on you can see Summer is getting more and more mature. Although, I must say her self-centered attitude at times drove me crazy. All she seemed to want to talk to anyone about was Shannon and herself. It hurt me the way she would at times push Gibson aside, because I personally love Gibson. He’s smart and slightly nerdy, but not your typical nerd. He has depth. Actually, all of the characters have this amazing depth to them.
The journal entries in which we view Shannon’s world are heart-wrenching. You can see how naive she was, too trusting, and wanting just a small taste of freedom from her seemingly perfect world that she began rebelling. I felt for Shannon, learning the secrets of her and Summer’s family was entertaining and eye-opening. It just goes to reinterate what appears to be perfect isn’t.
The girls’ parents really frustrated me. Their mom was striving for perfection, their dad seemed like he was just trying to keep peace. A revelation at the end made me see their father in a different light though, and that made me happy.