Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dark Song by Gail Giles

Ames led the life that other people dreamed about. Her father had a high-paying, powerful job; her mother decorated a perfect house. She attended a top private school and had everything she could ever want. Her family could drop everything and fly (at a moment's notice) to Alaska to watch the Northern Lights. She was close with her parents and never kept anything from them. Life was like a fairy tale...and then it all came crashing down. Her father lost his job and they ran through their savings. Despite his assurances that everything will be alright, Ames learns the dark truth behind how he lost his job and why he can't find a new one. Betrayed and hurt, Ames feels lost and acts out. The family is forced to leave their perfect life behind and start a new one in Texas. There, Ames meets a guy who seems to understand how frustrated she is, how terribly her parents are treating her. She trusts him and confides in him, and she promises she won't leave him. But she has no idea how dangerous he can be...

First, I have to say how much I love this cover. The image of the flower is so strikingly powerful that I found myself looking at it every time I picked the book up or set it down. Dark Song is really almost two stories, and that's how the book is divided. The first half breaks down Ames' so-called perfect life in Colorado, and the second half details the danger that she meets in Texas. This was another book where I got so frustrated with the parents. Faced with losing everything, her parents retreat into themselves, and Ames acts out in frustration. Her parents yell at her, call her names, and treat her like a servant rather than a daughter. Yes, she's spoiled and naive, but her parents are the ones who raised her like that! But rather than actively parent her, they just go on hating each other and freezing everyone out. I know there are a lot of great parents in YA books, and great teen/parent relationships, but I just seem to have hit a run of books with parents that frustrate me. Marc, too, is terrifying, so I guess it makes sense that Ames' feelings of betrayal from her parents have to be so strong to make Marc seem enticing. Dark Song is not an easy read, but once the action starts, it just pulses toward the end.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Poor Mallory! by Ann M. Martin
The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison
Right Behind You by Gail Giles
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

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