When the rebellious Andi draws good-girl Sam out of her comfort zone and to a party in the woods, the pair encounters bellicose brothers York and Boston.
Naturally the party’s busted, and the foursome escapes by stealing a handy SUV—which turns out to be a cop car. And the cop car has a whole bunch of drugs in the car already. The group heads to York and Boston's family cabin in the woods to cool off and regroup. Tensions flare, tragic histories are revealed, and friendships are forged in Lange's ambitious novel. Lange goes big and broad with the stakes and her characters but does a good job of slowly escalating the action and making the crazy situation credible. The novel's biggest weakness is its decision to make Sam the narrator: she spends a lot of time in her own head, dwelling on her tragic past and refusing to say or do anything. Obviously this is meant to emphasize her transformation when she finally steps up during the book's climax, but readers have to go through far too many pages of inaction to get there. The author also tinkers with the timeline a bit, isolating flashbacks and flash-forwards that add little to the narrative and actually work against the building tension.
It’s a broad emotional story with interesting bits and pieces, but it doesn’t work as a whole. (Fiction. 14-18)