Title: Damage Done
Author: Amanda Panitch
Publication: July 21st 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Advance Reading COpy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.
Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.
After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.
Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. She’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.
One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .
I received a Digital ARC of this book from Random House Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Review contains mild spoilers.
When I saw Damage Done on Goodreads, I immediately added it on my “Want To Read” shelf. Obviously, Mystery/Thriller is one of the genres that I have a strong interest in. The cover and the synopsis had me sold but the whole plot and execution blew me away.
Julia and her family recently moved to Southern California after a tragedy struck their family. They left behind completely everything including their identity to start a new life where nobody knows about their past. Just when Julia, who now goes by the name Lucy, is in the brink of establishing a new life; with a good friend always by her side and the cute boy that seems to be interested in her, someone from the past comes haunting her, risking her identity’s secret to rise to the surface.
Damage Done‘s guessing game of whodunit (or whydoit) is quite a challenge. You don’t just sit there and let the book tell you what happens, it makes you think and solve. Hints where thrown in but they’re too minimal to even notice. But if you’re really paying attention and you’re “in the zone” to solve the mystery (basically me when reading mysteries), you might realize that they’re actually clues. But don’t think that it’s just that easy to uncover, it’s not. I may have my theories but I doubted them. Julia made me doubt them.
Julia/Lucy is not the typical YA heroine. She just went through a traumatic experience and is starting anew. You would expect her to be too fragile. But then, she isn’t. Julia is a strong character. She’s smart and bold.
*THIS IS A SPOILER.* Highlight with cursor to view >> Not only is Julia smart, she’s also manipulative and a good liar. She knows how to act and convince people to think something that isn’t (I fell victim for this). She’s the reason why my mind is freaking blown after reading this book. *END OF SPOILER*
Ms. Panitch did a good job in writing an unpredictable character. With such an elaborate plot, she made sure not to neglect her characters. The balance between the two left such a good impression Damage Done and the author’s writing style.
Disturbing, intense & mind-blowing, Damage Done is one mystery that takes a lot of unraveling that will make you stay up all night reading and you won’t stop thinking about it long after you’ve reached the end.
Unputdownable – Most Mystery/Thriller books have this effect on them. They lure you with your curiosity and the next thing you know, you’re hooked. And with Damage Done, the mystery is just hidden so well I devoured it in one day. It couldn’t wait for another day, I had to finish it at once. And I did. I bet you will too.
Narration – One thing I realized early on reading this book is how I enjoyed reading in Julia’s POV. The narrative is naturally engaging. Julia is a good story teller. And when I say good, it’s damn GOOD.
Astounding Plot – Reading Damage Done is like watching a really, really good movie. You just have to see (read) it for yourself.
The Cover – There is a mysterious aura to it which is fitting to the story. The blurry effect really works. I mean, look at it! Doesn’t it make you stop and stare?
Book Description and Cover Image from Goodreads