In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won’t stay silent.Seventeen-year-old Skye has her sights set on one thing: getting the heck out of Dodge. Art school is her ticket out and she’s already been accepted to her first choice, MICA. All she has to do is survive her senior year, not get too drunk at parties, and be there for her little sister, Emma. Sure, she’s usually battling a hangover when she drives to pick Emma up, but she has everything under control. Until he returns.

When her mom’s ex-boyfriend slithers his way back into her family, it’s all Skye can do to keep the walls of her world from crumbling. Her family has no idea Skye has been guarding a dark secret about her past–about him–and she never thought she would have to face him again. She knows she has to get away from him at all costs. But how can she abandon Emma? Skye’s heart is torn between escaping the man who hurt her years ago and protecting her loved ones from the monster in their midst. Running away from her fears isn’t an option. To save her sister–and herself–she’ll have to break all the rules.


4,5 stars

Reading this book was hard for me personally. Not because I went through what Skylar went but because of her behavior toward drugs and boys.

Usually the girl is the straight laced one and the hero may be the partying and womanizer type.
Having a role reversal forced me to realize that I had double standards and that’s not something I was proud of!

Another trigger was Skye’s use of drugs. Again not because I had been addicted but one of my friends went down that road and being a teenager at that time left me with a deep scar.

But that story needed to be told that way.
Because  Skye has been changed by a traumatic event at twelve years old.
Because when Skye tried to speak about it she was not heard.
Because sometimes life is so heavy that forgetting and taking refuge in drugs makes it easier even if it’s a crutch and never a solution.
Because when you are ignored and feel transparent then you bask in any attention you can get even if it is that of a boy wanting your body because you feel easy.

In the beginning of the story Skye is crushing on her best friend Ben but does not dare take it to the next step for fear of losing their friendship.
Ben parties hard with her always sharing alcohol and some weed.
Skye’s mom will announce that she is back with Dan an old boyfriend and things will progressively spiral out of control for Skye.
She wanted to protect her sister, she wanted to do good but messed up so many times.

It was hard reading about her drug problem.

It was hard reading about her being used by boys when she was completely drunk.

It was hard to see her failing.

And it was hard because it rang true.
Because many have addictions to forget. To compensate for being broken. To stop hurting even for a little while.

Laura Sibson told a story that feels real and true.

As hard as it was to read about drugs, use and abuse I liked that Laura introduced some beauty in her story thanks to Skylar’s artistic talent. This gave some levity to the read. And I personally loved how Skye named all her drawing, done or not.
Many know to express feelings they can’t voice out loud through music, painting…any form of art. That’s what saved Skye and her naming her drawings like painters give names to their creation added a poetic and soft touch to her story.


Recommend it? If you can deal with hard topics then yes, totally!

Can you read stories about hard topics or do you avoid them?

Thanks for reading!




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  1. Interesting that you mention double standards. I can see that coming in to play when reading this one. I find it so difficult to read books like this one when a character is faced with a seemingly impossible choice. Like, how can she leave her little sister behind? But how can she take her with her? It hurts my heart.

  2. Sounds like this one tackled a very touchy subject and succeeded in doing it without too much trouble. Fascinating that it also allowed you to realize a double standard problem. That definitely shows how good this turned out to be. Fantastic review, Sophie!

  3. Wonderful review, Sophie. When the main character is damaged and it’s hard to read about their actions, it makes the story more powerful. Especially when the character is female. I’d love to read this!