Much like the first book, the main character had such a strong voice that felt like a real person, and I loved that. And I once again felt for him, liked him.
Other characters were good too. Marcus was interesting. Gabriel was imperfect but loyal and great.
I think the story was more interesting and maybe more coherent this time. And there was more magic.
I can’t remember if it was this one or the first book or both (maybe it was the part when Nathan had to stay indoors overnight), but the way things were written (and maybe the audio narration contributed too), I could feel the awfulness of it, the anxiety, etc. so strongly that I started actually feeling anxiety. I almost had to stop the audiobook. Which is a compliment, because I’m saying it was written really well. It wasn’t even anything in particular that was triggering to me, just something about how it was portrayed in a way that got to me. I don’t know if it will affect anyone else the same though. This was just my experience.
The two things that I sorta briefly had issue with, I realized were actually believable for the characters, especially considering they were teens. *SPOILER* It seemed sudden to me that Nathan was madly in love with and wanted to spend the rest of his life with this girl who was in the first book for like five minutes. I didn’t even think they had spent much time together. If they did, we certainly didn’t see it. But considering she was one of the few good things in his life, one of the only friends he’d ever had, and the way emotions can feel as a teen, it made sense. And then Gabriel’s whole little spiel about how Annalise would never accept Nathan for who he was, and how Gabriel was the only one who would, felt so manipulative. But then I realized, he’s, what, 19? So that tracks. Which is not to say teens are all manipulative. Just that his way of thinking and feeling… I have some memories of being a teen, and it feels like the kinda thing I might’ve thought or felt in the right situation, or that someone might’ve said to me, without even thinking of it as manipulation. It’s just strong, dramatic emotions. And to be fair… he wasn’t wrong about Annalise. *END SPOILER*
The audiobook, narrated by Carl Prekopp, was again fantastic. At some point, I was even like, “Oh, I just realized Nesbitt isn’t a separate person, it’s the same person doing Nathan’s voice. It’s the same person doing all the voices.” As in, I knew that, but he was so good that it was easy to forget. He really nailed Nathan’s whole demeanor and emotions, and he did all the character voices so well.
Overall, this was another great book with strong character voice and writing that really made me feel everything.
*Rating: 4 Stars // Read Date: 2023 // Format: Audiobook*
Fans of Book 1 in Sally Green's Half Bad Trilogy. Anyone who likes heavy stories, characters who've been through some shit, strong character voice, queer love, and witches.