Posts Tagged ‘Tragedy Girl’

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Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso tells the tale of a teenage girl, Anne, and her path through the high school landscape after the death of her parents in a car accident. Anne meets Blake, and it seems like a match handed to her directly from her parents—he too has suffered a great loss; his girlfriend Cara drowned in a freak accident before the beginning of the school year. But the more Anne gets to know Blake, the less she wants to be alone with him. She begins to think that perhaps Cara’s death was not really an accident at all, and wonders what part Blake had in her death.

This is not a love story.

Well, okay. It’s supposed to be a love story. Anne meets Blake. Everyone says “there’s something off about him,” “you should stay away from him,” etc etc, but Anne decides to go on a date with him anyway. They are mirrors for each other’s grief, or so she thinks. But Blake shows a darker side quickly, and Anne realizes that something isn’t quite right with him. However, SHE KEEPS MOVING FORWARD WITH HIM ANYWAY.

Note from the book author: “Attention readers. When a significant other is verbally abusive to you, it’s all cool. Go ahead and stay with them even if you suspect they’ve done deeper darker things.”

Anne learns that Cara’s body was never found, and in trying to do some investigation, encourages Blake to take her to the beach where Cara died. Blake, of course, flips out at the beach. (Predictable, but okay. I guess I’ll go with the mystery here). I just can’t buy that Anne would stay with Blake through all of his outbursts and ups and downs combined with the mysterious notes warning her away from him and his best friend Jamie.

Note from moi: “If you have relationship doubts, it’s okay to leave that relationship. Don’t stay just because you think you’ll make the person sad.”

Long story short, the borderline (and at times flat out) abusive nature of the Anne/Blake relationship ruined this book for me. I get the idea that in our grief, we can be drawn to things that aren’t good for us. However, there are too many red flags and too many icky messages that aren’t carefully delivered to the reader to make it really stick.

I would, however, like to say that Deriso does a pretty good job writing wise. Characters aside, her set/world building is great, the dialogue is lovely, and she has some great prose happening. The characters just simply aren’t there for me, and really, it’s the characters that make or break you. As this is a message close to my heart, I was looking for something stronger.

2 stars.

**I received Tragedy Girl, by Christine Hurley Deriso, as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Tragedy Girl is expected for publication April 8th, 2016, by Flux.