Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A copy of this novel was recieved from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Paloma high school is full of secrets, and one is a concern to the faculty. The school received a notice that a teacher is involved with a student. Told in seven different POVs every character has something to hide. As rumors begin to spread, tensions get high. The seven will soon find themselves connected by friendship, romance, and a terrible secret.
The plot is very character driven, but with all the secrets playing in there’s a lot to cover. It does feel a bit like the book is trying to go through too much, some characters feel like their development was rushed. Cruelty and forgiveness both come quickly and easily to move the plot along. With less than seven protagonists it might have been easier to move along without losing any character depth.
Speaking of POVs, the book uses seven. Each character reflects one of the deadly sins. Seven is a lot to take on but Redgate has managed beautifully. Each character feels different, for some the writing is distinct. Each character factors into the main plotline but also has something of their own on the side. There are plenty of relationships between the main seven, family, friendship and romance. Some of the characters sins were very clear, others took a while to figure out or didn’t portray their sin too strictly.It did feel like some of the POVs hardly got a chance to shine, but that can only be expected with a book this length.
The book got a little heavy-handed about certain topics. It’s broach on pansexuality felt almost clinical. There was too much cut and dry description of the sexuality instead of just letting it flourish. It was a bit like reading a Wikipedia page in some scenes. Meanwhile the student/teacher affair is dealt with so positively it’s a little horrific. Why this was the issue the author thought deserved a positive spin eludes me. Of course we encountered the classic English project is relevant to the plot trope that high school contemporary stories fall victim to. Pleasantly, it was a very short mostly in the background project and the characters didn’t ponder the meaning of Dante’s Inferno in their current situation.
Overall it was a great read, and at least managed to pull itself away from quite a few tropes. The romance in the book is subtle, and not everyone has to have their perfect fairy tale ending.