The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.
I’m going to try to write this review without any spoilers because if you’re going to read this book, you really can’t know too much without ruining the whole plot.
The whole time I was reading this book I could feel two different stories taking place. Not because the narrative alternates between Catherine and Elliott but because of what’s going on in the plot. On the surface, it feels like a sweet story about first love and overcoming adversity and growing apart and coming back together. But underneath, there’s something bubbling. As the story continues it gets darker and more sinister and starts to consume the sweet surface story. And as it warps the story and poisons the plot you realise that you knew this was coming, you actually knew from the beginning that something wasn’t quite right.
This book is longer than it needs to be and the ‘surface story’ is a little repetitive, a little cliché, but when that second, darker storyline reaches its climax, it’s totally worth it.