Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.
But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.
And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.
But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.
Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone–she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.
Miss Riki’s Review:
Woah. This book was so, so good in so many different ways. It is dark, brooding, sultry, and sexy. It is also beautifully written and lyrical in a way I haven’t read in a long time. Marcy Beller Paul writes incredibly flawed and complex main characters that are hard to root for, yet cry out for compassion.
This book is captivating, with gorgeous prose and a deeply unsettling female friendship. The relationship between Mattie and Jolene is toxic in the raw sense of the word, and the author expertly explores all that can possibly mean. There’s an extremely sexy homoeroticism to the novel that blew me away. Feelings between Mattie and Jolene are complicated and tense, and the way they develop on the page is breathtaking.
Written in an immediate way with a quick, first person present narration, this book would have been easy to blow through. I desperately wanted to know what happened next on every page, but the sheer beauty of the writing forced me to slow down and savor every word.
Despite being haunting and at times difficult to read, the novel ended on a hopeful note that kept me from feeling too unsettled. I highly recommend this book.