Top critical review
Had potential but wasted it.
on 11 January 2013
I downloaded this some time ago when it was free. When I came across it on my Kindle the other day I read a snippet and was intrigued, so I read the whole thing.
A teenage boy is being badly bullied. His tormentor offers him a way out, ask out Stephanie, a classmate who was badly burned in a fire and is cruelly seen as a 'freak', and he'll be free. So he does only to find that as he begins to see 'underneath' the scars he sees someone he could like. Unfortunately things don't go smoothly and soon he has to deal with the fall-out.
The thing I liked about this story was the hook, the idea that someone might find out that beauty is more than outward appearances. A bit predictable but still with potential. What I liked less was the way the author used some powerful elements (sex, violence, death, mental illness) in a casual way that felt like it was more for effect than story. It felt like a teenager waving around a gun in order to impress his friends. However where I felt it really went wrong was the ending. Obviously I won't give it away but it felt like it undermined the logic of the earlier part of the story and made me lose sympathy with the characters.