Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
I was reading over this review before I posted it, and I realised I have no recollection of this. At all. That’s worrying, isn’t it? And really, it tells you all you need to know. But I’ll go into more detail.
The idea of this book was so great, but it did not live up to expectations at all. Maybe if it wasn’t written in letter form I would have liked it better. Maybe if it didn’t keep flicking back from present to past I would’ve been able to follow it better and the suspense could’ve been done much less obviously.
But there were some things I just didn’t know how to fix. Zoe’s voice was done badly, and she was no a believable character. I mean, how old was she? She sounded about 10, but acted 18 half the time, and 12 when she was with her sister. Her mum was pathetic. The ‘mystery’ about the Grandpa and Dot was such an anti-climax. I wanted the drama her parents hinted at, not the blown-out-of-proportion rubbish it actually was! Aaron was an idiot. I won’t say why because of spoilers, but let’s just say I’m glad he’s not my brother.
There were some things I did like. Max was actually quite cool, even if he wasn’t meant to be. Soph was great, I would love to be her best friend, and her dramas were actually real, and not just her exaggerating things that were barely going on. And I suppose the romance was good, if bad morally.
So no, I didn’t entirely hate this book. But I sure won’t be recommending it any time soon.