Damaged by Amy Reed

Damaged by Amy Reed

Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rated: YA 15+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Two teens must come to terms with their friend’s death—and her afterlife—in this gritty and realistic novel from the author of Beautiful, Clean, Crazy, and Over You.

When Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident while she was behind the wheel, she shuts down completely, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. She wants to be left alone during the last few weeks of high school, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend Hunter, who was also in the car that night, has a different idea.

Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t shake Camille, who begins haunting her in dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, she agrees to run away with Hunter to San Francisco. As the pair tries to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions how real her perception of her friendship with Camille was, and whether her former friend’s ghost is actually now haunting her. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing.

Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.

I knew I had to get my hands on this one after reading Amy Reed’s fantastic novel Clean. The cover on the ARC I received was different – it featured a guy, and so I was a little sad that it got replaced with the image of the girl because not too many guys are the main subject of the cover when it comes to YA fiction. Anyway, I really enjoyed this one. Amy Reed’s writing is compelling and while harsh, it’s got a lyrical quality to it. She’s clearly not afraid of being brutally honest when it comes to telling a story and gets right into the nitty-gritty, deep-down stuff that we tend to hide or what characters don’t show in many books. That’s what I particularly enjoyed about Damaged and overall it was a great read. 

I really loved Clean, so I knew that this one was going to get a similar reaction from me. I didn’t like it as much as Clean, but it was really different from it as well, so I don’t think I can compare the two in terms of subject matter. Sure, this does deal with addiction – not getting past the death of a friend, alcoholism, and such. HOWEVER, unlike the rehab setting that was in Clean, the two characters Kinsey and Hunter take a road trip. I don’t have anything against road trips, but honestly, it’s such a cliché in YA nowadays that it does get annoying. I mean the same thing happens again and again and again. Boy and girl take a road trip, starting with nothing but the need to get away from it all. The relationship at this point is pretty platonic and they often have a character who is missing/dead/etc. who is the reason why they need to get away from where they currently are. Make a few side-stops, showing the touristy-side of a road trip at some not-so-well-known landmarks. They start to fall in love. Something happens, they separate, angry at each other. In the end... who knows, they either stick together or separate  it’s a toss-up. I’m not saying that all road trip books are like this, but they tend to have a similar pattern. Damaged followed some of this (I’m not gonna say what) and so yes, the story’s frame was a little cliché, but the other parts were better than I’d expected.

When it came down to Kinsey and Hunter, I seriously couldn’t connect to them. Normally this would annoy me with a book, but I honestly thought that it worked this time. Taking more of an observing role rather than getting into the characters and their emotions made more sense for this one because of the experiences the both of them have had. But I did feel time to time annoyed with the characters because of their actions and their tendency to quickly get mad at each other and shut down completely. The Camille “ghost” parts of the story were the best. I seriously thought that these were the moments when we could possibly connect to Kinsey’s character because she’s more vulnerable and we can see past the mask she wears most of the time. 

Both a smooth and rocky road, Damaged was an interesting blend of ghost story meets contemporary road trip. Dark and haunting, Reed scores again with her latest novel. Can’t wait to read more from her!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Kelsey at Simon & Schuster for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

1 comment:

  1. Interesting review, thanks for sharing your thoughts! We've only read BEAUTIFUL by Amy Reed so far, but CLEAN and DAMAGED both sound like books we might enjoy.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I'll try to visit your blog (if you have one) and comment back!