Monday, February 14, 2011

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Tessa and Noelle have been best friends for years. They’ve shared everything together in the small town of Centerville, Ohio. But with all relationships, events can stagger and tear them apart. And that’s what happened two years ago.

Now, Cooper, Noelle's older brother, is telling Tessa she's alive and coming home.  After two years of abduction by a stranger, Tessa’s best friend is back, but not completely. Tessa thought it was hard to live knowing her best friend was gone, possibly killed. She’d gone through therapy to understand that loss, but now…it’s harder to live knowing Noelle is back and what happened to her. Two years at the hand of a monster can change a person to someone you never even knew. How do you deal with something like that?  Can a friendship you thought was gone forever be re-kindled, and more importantly, can it be the same?

In high school, Tessa’s passion in photography has put her in the advanced classes, which she loves. A new student, Max, is in her class too, and Max sees Tessa for more than what she shows to everyone else, and slowly Tessa lets him into her world. The theme for the next photography project is the opposite of tensions – up down, hot cold, lost found….and all Tessa can think about is Noelle,

“kidnapped, abducted, snatched
Enslaved, imprisoned, restrained.”

When Noelle finally tries to start a normal life by entering into high school, both girls know it will be a long, hard journey, with students knowing what happened to Noelle, with Noelle facing her past and present, and with Tessa trying her hardest to create the perfect balance for not only her best friend, but herself and Max as well.

Kristina McBride creates a dramatic and bold debut novel that deals with real-life issues that have been on the front pages of newspapers as well as televisions today. Many people see the “inside story” of an abductor and can only imagine the horror. McBride writes about the opposite of the abductor and focuses on the life of the abductee after her rescue and the implications of her new life on her as well her family and friends after the tragic events have been aired in public. Paired with the photographic theme of Tessa’s work that creates not only the title of this book, but permeates with symbolism throughout, McBride has created a novel that will keep the reader engaged with the characters as well as the plotline and relationships, and what ultimately will happen to Tessa and Noelle…is there such a thing as resiliency after something that devastating? This debut novel focuses on the now and how the victim and those closest to her must cope with the tragic loss of two years without reliving the past and its brutality. Perfect pairing with Mazer’s The Missing Girl and Scott’s Living Dead Girl.


Liana said...

Ooooo this sounds good to me because it reminds me of one of my all time fave novels When Jeff Comes Home which deals with a similar issue. Def has to check this one out!

naomibates said...

It IS that good...I forgot all about When Jeff Comes Home, but that is another excellent pair!