Authors: Julia Swift and Andrew Landis.
Published: October 16th 2013
Rating: Did not finish.
Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash and vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who just moved to her Air Force desert town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.
Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered suburban world. But will they discover there is a difference between being bold and being stupid before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?
Bold has an interesting premise, though it contradicts itself. Sasha who makes a promise to be bold after nearly dying, takes pride in hiding in the shadows and remaining on the fringes. Everything changes of course, when Will (the new boy in town) enters the picture. I could have gotten past that. However, the writing in this book is more akin to a screen play. Lots of visual imagery, a lot of cut scenes, and more exposition than anything. The story switches narration, which I would be okay with, except that it switches every two to three pages.
One thing that made me want to stop reading was the response to a background character responding to Will’s crying (also, who in the world rubs hot sauce in their eyes to induce crying? That’s dangerous). The trucker nearly throws Will into the dumpster because he “Wanted to give him something to cry about […] Crying boys lead to gay men.” I’m not certain where young men crying suddenly changes their sexuality. I understand that the authors wanted to create a background character like that—but not necessary. It really stuck out to me and hit a chord. Another instance and what made me put the book down, is after a chapter or two of flirting, Will and Sasha decide to go hiking. Will (in his narrative portion) has a mental soliloquy about how his dates normally go and the fact that “Sasha meeting him at the trail head is strange. He hopes this doesn’t put him in the FRIEND ZONE” That phrase along made me rage that I didn’t want to finish the book. I flipped through it, and there’s instances where Will is controlling, off putting and worried that Sasha is sneaking around on him. Also, I don’t normally mention this in reviews, but it really bothers me. The couple on the book look so much older than high school–more like college age. It’s slightly off putting considering the age range of the main characters.
Overall Rampant sexism and rapid switch narration made this book really hard for me to swallow.
I was sent this book free for review purposes. I am not being compensated or influenced in any way.