Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sometimes the end is just the beginning. Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. But when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there. And Billy's nowhere to be found. All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way. It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes. Especially if it means everything changes. - Goodreads.com
This story surprised me on a couple different levels. First of all, the story is told alternately between then and now. I thought, at first, oh boy, this is going to be confusing. But the author handled this switch back and forth so skillfully that it didn't pull me out of the story or confuse me at all.
Gabby is faced with some challenges here and earns a new strength as she journeys through this situation. I love watching a character's journey as they grow and change to meet what's happening to them, and you definitely saw this with Gabby.
I wanted to kick the crap out of her mother on more than one occassion. In most scenes Gabby has with her mother, I just couldn't help but think that some people don't deserve to be, and should never be, parents.
There were a few surprises in this story for me, some I saw coming, and some I didn't. Bottom line, the story was very good, a fast read that kept me interested. The author's writing style was so good... I love this kind of deep-heart narrative that really strips barriers away, where you truly feel like you're in the person's head. Some of the writing was so beautiful.
A great debut by author Ann Redisch Stampler. Definitely someone to watch for!