Summary: Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas.
And I'm gong to stop right there with the summary. Nothing else matters. This. Book.
Yes. I gave it a full 5 stars. And, I'm not truly sure why. Maybe because it made me feel so much. Too much? Gah. I very seldom and quite stingily allow a book to make the "favorites" shelf. This one? So on it.
I originally, before starting it, thought it was a modern day tale. But my best guess is that it takes place in the early 1800s. The story is told completely from the thoughts of the main character, Judith. It is divided into 5 separate "books" which really are just a way to allow the reader to gather a moment before diving back in. Every time I saw the start of a new book, I felt like I had just reached the top peak of the climb on a roller coaster and had a few seconds to catch my breath before everything within me rushed forward.
Maybe it affected me because it was so different from anything I've read lately. Maybe it was just so well-written that I was stupefied by it. Maybe it made me feel so much, so quickly, that my brain is mush right now. My heart is sore from the workout, though. I know that much.
If I had to give you the best notes to prepare yourself for this I would say:
Book one - Hauntingly Beautiful. We get glimpses in to Judith's thoughts almost as if they were diary entries or snippets of notes to her friend, Lucas.
Book two - Desperately Heartbreaking. We're comfortable with the writing style now and have invested all the feelz for Judith.
Book three - Mildly peeved blending in to blunt anger. I was so mad at the people in this town. I was so frustrated. I was so upset.
Book four - Anger bled away. Hopefulness Exploded. Could a happy ending truly be possible?
Book five - Relief. Quiet and yet left the blood pounding through my body with full on giddiness.
This is one of those books that you finish and it stays with you. I HIGHLY REC IT. Seriously. Go. Read it.