In fact I am not sure why, but I was kinda taken aback by the fact that this was so deep.
Don't ask me why. I should have expected it. It's a Cook novel after all. And I think I am slowly getting that that's her MO. Deep cute and fluffy.
Except the only kinda cute and fluffy bits are the romance, everything else. Not much cute and fluffy. Entertaining, thought provoking and endearing are more words I would use to describe this.
The writing style is Cook alla extraordinare. I love her writing style, its straight forward and accurate. I enjoy her brand of humour, witty and at times eyebrow raising with a tad of sarcasm. She does write beautiful scenes, like the one set on the view point, and heart-aching one with the same ease as she does action scenes. But her writing style while beautiful is also deceptively lighthearted. One only realised it's depths when you gotta pause to be able to realise all the different things that are happening.
The story line is interesting to say the least. It's fairly fast paced- except that Harper is actually rather a bit melodramatic and self-involved most of the time, which puts rather many bumpers on the story flow.
This also has a kinda love-triangle. Well, actually let me say it as it is: it has a love triangle. But funny enough I didn't mind it, well mostly I didn't, which in itself is a minor miracle. Since I loath those like little else. But there was absolutely no cheating, and Harper was actually surprisingly considerate about it. It was a bearable love triangle. Can't even believe I am saying that! LOL. But trust me it was.
Besides the main event here is Harper's journey of discovery. Her treatment- the Memtex she had done- and it's consequences. Not the romance.
Again this is not a cute & fluffy, it's light hearted with a big punch of depth.
Since this is all told from Harper's POV, we get to see everything from her perspective. And herein lies an issue I had with this book. I am not a fan of Harper. At first I just thought she was a spoilt rich kid who thought life will always go her way, under the guise of being this nice girl. But frankly I found her too self-involved and melodramatic. Totally spoilt and attention seeking. Her reasons for the Memtex were- ridiculous at best. I mean I get she was upset, but I felt like she really needed some real sorrow in her life, to even come to grips with what pain means. Sorry i know it sounds absolutely jaded and mean, but hey there a kids in this world who live in war zones, kids who don't have a home and kids who are abused in their homes... so many way worse scenarios than hers.
But I think this was a rather clever move of Cook- in fact it make you wonder when is it worth getting rid of your memories? Is life without the pain a better life? How much pain would grant a Memex treatment?
I also didn't like how she handled her mother at the end. Nor was I sure how that solution was gonna work- cause let's face it, she is in school, where does she get money from?
I loved Neil,while searching for a cause, seemingly lost, he is probably less so than any other characters. He is interesting, honest (mostly), clever, loyal, adorable and fun. He is a total dream book BF. I adore him, totally fell for him. And couldn't understand what any of Harpers issues were.
I did have some issues with the adults in this book- they kinda cartoony, cliche and totally one sided in my opinion. It was a stark contrast to the teens, who all had many facets to their personality and evolved as the story went on.
My favourite though by far was Win. Awesome, beautiful, fabulous Win. Harper and Win's relations ship was dynamic and felt real. Even their quarrels were warranted- and I loved how they solved them. I am super pleased that Cook written such an awesome and realistic female friendship. Their love and loyalty was wonderful, but what was so moving was the fact that they were supportive and real with each other! I think only a real friend can tell you how it is in a time of crisis, but also only a real friend can call bull. And Win did both! She also showed a depth and maturity beyond her years. Stuff she said, stuck with me, made me ponder...And I love her, she is my new fave book BFF. Well, also my first- but hey I would want her as my friend in RL and we all got book BFs... so time I get a book BFF as well!
As I said, this was way deeper that expected. But also totally down my alley. The whole science side to it- while the treatment is total fiction and sci-fi-y - was interesting. The issues of side-effects, risks and welfare in procedures has always fascinated me and is a matter that has been close to my heart ever since I started studying chemistry. It's the balance of it all isn't? Finding where the good outbalances the bad... and frankly it's a huge grey matter. So it will always be a matter of interest, a matter of discussion as long as humanity does research and tries to improve.
As I said, way deeper than I expected. So I have warned you, while you will get gushy, happy feelings when it comes to Neil, you also get suspense, mystery and a whole lot of questions to ponder over.
I absolutely can only recommend this to lovers of the genre!