I apologize in advance for my excessive gif use. I have a lot of feelings about this, okay?!
I really thought that I hated Summer Ames from Perfect Summer (horrible book. Don’t read it ever). I was wrong. There are not words to fully capture how much I hate the “heroine” in this novel. I’m pretty sure Nastya/Emilia/Sunshine is my f-ing Voldemort. I have never hated any literary character as much as I hate her. Ever.
She is the epitome of a weak person to me. As much as I wanted to be sympathetic and feel bad for her, I couldn’t Because she was a victim and a masochist and an immature, rotten, idiot.
For someone to know who tried to murder them and to simply stop speaking as opposed to, oh I don’t know, seeking justice, is completely inconceivable to me. I know that she talks about how she wants to kill him herself, but I don’t buy it. This is just idiotic to me. You are a woman. I know you run a billion miles a day and are jacked, but the likelihood you can overpower even an 18 year old man is preposterous. I am 5’9″, 150 lbs., and can deadlift 250lbs. I still can’t even take the remote away from my husband who never does anything, but sit on the computer and watch sports on TV. <-- sorry for that tangent. ANYWAY... She is just a victim. Always. And then, we she starts to not be, she makes herself one again.
Reasons I was infuriated:
1. She dresses like a slut so that no one talks to her? WHAT? Dumb. Now everyone is just talking about you and teenage boys are making dumbass comments to you. This is not how you stay invisible.
2. Not going to touch the stilettos. I. JUST. CANNOT.
3. The not talking when she remembers what happened to her. This is the opposite of what she should have done. She should have talked to the police. VICTIM.
4. Letting Drew use her to keep Tierney away. WTF? This is so messed up. Drew is supposed to be this asshole with a heart of gold? Bullshit. He is an asshole. Anyone who is okay with letting an entire high school think a “member of his family” (as Drew refers to Nastya) is a “slut” and is screwing 2 guys at the same time is repulsive. Not okay. VICTIM.
5. The ‘here, take my virginity and ruin me completely. I know you love me and I love you so I am going to drop a nuclear bomb here and fucking annihilate you and me. Being happy was hard.’ VICTIM.
6. When Kevin sexually assaults Nastya at that party NOT A SINGLE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE BOOK suggests that they go to the authorities. Not Clay, not Tierney, not Drew, not Josh, and definitely not Nastya (because she is a victim). This is total insanity to me. I do not understand. I would understand if it was suggested and she refused (because that would be consistent with her constantly playing the victim card), but it’s not even brought up once. Everyone acts like it’s acceptable to just beat the hell out of the criminal and call it a day. VICTIM.
7. When she meets the boy who tried to murder her, learns his name, and doesn’t immediately report him to the police. VICTIM.
All in all, Nastya just seemed to want to do absolutely nothing to help herself. In fact, she wanted to do everything possible to make her shitty life shittier. No sympathy from me. I just couldn’t bring myself to feel anything, but a deep loathing for this MC. She was awful.
Despite being compelling and suspenseful, I didn’t like the first person narative. It was strange to be in Nastya’s head and not know her whole story from the begining. It was strange that the character knows things that I didn’t. Third person narative may have been more effective for this kind of storytelling.
Despite the vitriol I just spewed I did enjoy this book. It was phenomenal. I can hate a character and recognize when a story is fabulous. The supporting characters were intriguing and the book was well planned out. It honestly reminded me of a poor man’s Lost- everything was a piece of the puzzle and nothing made sense until the very end. I feel the same way after reading this as I did after watching (that god awful) Donnie Darko (movie). Everything was a clue and I missed it all until the very end.
Great book, I very much recommend.