by Alan Davidson
Plot Summary:New to London, Jessica Tye is alarmingly obsessed with MARINA, a lush West End stage musical. With its storyline, its music -- and its sensational boy lead singer, Kennedy Orr, who won a TV talent show to land the role. She's often composed letters to him, in her head. When she finally puts pen to paper, it's for an emotional outpouring only, not for posting......until, surprisingly, her dull boy friend decides to teach her a lesson and mails it.
He's not to know that Jessica's letter will spark off amazing and unsettling events.....because Kennedy Orr has some obsessions of his own.
Expectations: Well, I love musicals, and I can get little celebrity crushes from time to time (basically all the time) so I was very much looking forward to reading this book, as I would probably identify a lot with the main character. It's a very intriguing premise and one that definitely captured my attention.
Oh this book! It was impossible to put down; I just had to know what happens next! The tone of this book switched constantly – from the unusual to the romantic, to the ordinary, to the menacing – it was a mesmerizing control of narrative because it was impossible to predict anything. At times I might liken the story to Cinderella or Bluebeard, or even Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. But it is its own tale, complete with solid three-dimensional characters and a plot balanced between the ordinary and the sublime. The premise is simple, but the way the author handles the story and the characters is complex and layered, creating an intense atmosphere that kept me completely invested in the surreal turn of events Jessica’s life takes.
Jessica is a realistic, truly ordinary young girl who gains more self-assurance and focus through her interactions with her celebrity crush Kennedy Orr, who has quite a few troubling secrets. He’s enigmatic, and charming but ultimately flawed leading to a resolution that was really the only way it could have ended. I found the idea that instead of dismissing a wish-fulfillment fantasy as silly, you should pursue it and see where it takes you as very uplifting and even if it didn’t work out exactly as Jessica might have planned, she ended up a stronger person. This story is unique, and simple yet clever and beautifully woven, and I cannot highly recommend it enough! It’s definitely been one of my favorite reads this year!
review copy kindly provided by the publisher - Straw Hat