Author: Donna Cooner (Website | Twitter)
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Source: A copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.
Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?
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My Review: Oh, this book. I'm so conflicted with this one. There were moments when I was just completely enraptured by it and other times when I was rolling my eyes and trying not to curse at it. It's a story of loss and growth and we see that through the eyes of the main character. While I enjoyed that aspect of the novel, there wasn't much else that made me like this book.
My biggest problem with this novel, the thing that made me question if I would be able to even finish it, was the main character. I did not like this girl. At. All. She was such a shallow person and I hated having to read through her eyes, especially because she hardly grew or matured throughout the duration of the story. Of course, I sympathized with what she had to deal with in losing her sister and I hated the fact that that happened to her and her family but I was just absolutely disgusted by her. She frequently acted rudely to people who were genuinely nice to her just because she wanted to be apart of the "cool kids" and it seemed like she was less concerned about her sister's death and more concerned about what it had done to her online image. She used the tragedy as a tool to make herself more famous. She ridiculed people to try to get in with the "in crowd" and I just couldn't find it in myself to like her.
I did enjoy the parts we saw with Raylene and Luis. They were my favorite part of this novel which made it 10x worse when Torrey was being mean to them. I honestly did not understand why Luis was at all interested in her. She was embarrassed to be seen with him. And the same situation happened between Torrey and Raylene.
I also really liked learning more about the Day of the Dead in this novel. It was all interesting, especially when we were able to hear about it from Luis's grandmother and her friend. I couldn't get enough of the culture and the stories woven about it throughout.
Overall, this isn't a novel I'm in love with. Had the main character been better, I would have had a better time with it. As it was, I still enjoyed it, especially when Torrey was being semi-decent. I don't know if I'll even come back to this one but I think it has elements that other people would enjoy.
"When the moon shines bright, your fears will be few and only sweet dreams will come to you"