Life is perfect for Tessnia and she breezes through it. Her parents are supportive and school is a showcase for her straight A’s and fantastic athletic ability. The only cloud on her otherwise pin-straight horizon is the strange recurring dream that leaves her quaking in terror, but with her best friends Kylie and Jack at her side, life is a content and orderly adventure. When Tess starts University, she expects no less than the best, but when Chris meets her on the track, she soon learns that there is much more to life than her sheltered past has exposed her to. There is an instant connection between the two, and some conflict too as Chris teaches and challenges Tess to reach her full potential, which is far greater than even she could ever have imagined. But Chris’ life may not be as perfect as Tess’s and she soon finds out that the secrets he harbors may put them both in mortal danger.
Williby has a very short and effective writing style; there are no long sentences or weighty adverbs and adjectives. It lends the story a straight forward, almost diary type of feel that is refreshing. She manages to portray deep emotion without too much introspection and the gradual maturing of her characters over the extended time period is realistic and full-bodied.
It’s hard to put this novel into any one particular genre, because it spans such a long time period in Tess’s life, and there’s so much in it. There’s mystery, love, sex, a touch of paranormal and contemporary, young adult and adult content. There were some really minor grammatical and tense errors, as well as some repetition and some telling instead of showing early on, but once I got deeper into the story, I understood the reason behind this and was swept away in the story. The extended timespan just adds so much more to the perceived perfection of Tess’s life and reinforces the ‘shock’ factor of the ‘not-so-perfect’ happenings.
The premise is an intriguing one, although I feel that more information is necessary, which means that Williby has done her job well and given me a good reason to buy the sequel. The action and the sex scenes were tastefully done, the story was beautifully paced and the characters were endearing. Put this one on your reading list – and while you’re at it, just add the sequels too because this author has such a unique and entertaining writing style.