Although not an action book, it has so much drama, suspense and tension between characters which is always exciting to read. The story was also very haunting and emotional as the author allows us to experience and explore characters through a mixed narrative of the different perspectives of Josh and Nastya/Emilia/Sunshine. So many times throughout the book, I felt like my heart was in my mouth and I just wanted to scream, laugh and cry all at once.
The primary and secondary characters are well rounded and hold many personality traits to those of some people I know in college. This story is very realistic and lets us delve into the situation given. It also gives us a small insight of how effectively damaged peoples lives can get; how easily a person can be broken and ruined whether it's due to having been raped, assaulted, bullied or having lost someone they love.
“People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.”I love how slowly paced the plot is revealed throughout and how subtly we are given revelations and clues into the two main characters' past at the beginning of every chapter and throughout some intense dialogue pieces. The structure of this book is perfect. I like how the author used the concept of the "Russian Whore", the mysterious identity of Nastya Kasnikov to mask the pain and horror that lived beneath the facade. I'm sure many people who have been troubled or stunned can identify with Emilia.
Despite the overwhelming sympathy I always felt for Nastya/Emilia, I couldn't help but be inspired, at awe and annoyed with her. Her way of thinking and the things she did I rarely ever understood. Like for example, I could never just walk into a random boys garage all the time and watch him work at 1am in the morning! She is somehow bold, and I wish I was more like that. These are all signs of a well developed, deep character with flaws like every body else.
Also, imagine how sweet it would be to have a beautiful boy call you sunshine? awwwhhh. Did I mention how addictive this book was? I started reading it at 5pm on Tuesday and continued reading through the night finishing it at 11am the following day.
This review is a mess so I'm just going to wrap it up here and say I'd definitely recommend for a heart felt, disturbing and emotional read.