“Some might say what I have is a gift. I say, I want to return it.” Sissy declares.
Sicily “Sissy” Monroe has all the qualities of a perfect young lady. She is almost where she wants to be in life. But lying deep in the pupil of her eyes hold something that she cannot get rid of which interferes with her plans. She fights everyday with no one but herself. After having her first vision at age six of her sister’s (Misty) disappearance and the dreams of failing to save her, Sissy wants no part in another person’s fate. For years Sissy tried hard to avoid contact with people because she feared foreseeing their death. In keeping with this, she tries to stay away from her family. Little did Sissy know she could not run from her past, or her gift. She hopes someone will put her out of her misery, but she will soon discover that her visions and dreams were just a mere image of herself.
I couldn't put this book down. From the opening scene where Sissy has her first vision and is helplessly watching her sister drown, you are drawn into her painful story. Fifteen years later, it is still haunting her in the middle of the night, in her dreams, and almost ruining her life. If someone touches her, she can see their future death. Those deaths often occur shortly after their encounter. Each one rips a new hole inside of Sissy. She doesn't feel that she can talk to anyone about her "gift," because no one will believe her. In fact, no one ever even talks about Misty anymore, nor are her pictures anywhere to be found. This just tears her up even more and hurts you almost as much.
She leaves home for college and doesn't return. She gives in to her mother when her mother begs her to come home for her grandmother's birthday weekend. Four years of staying away means a lot of changes are taking place back home. Everyone is getting older and making new life decisions. She is filled with even more conflict and confusion. She dwells on mundane details, such as how much food her mother is making for her or how many clothes she has bought at the mall. She is so sad that it is hard for her to focus so intently on the bigger picture.
One of the best things for her is reconnecting with her old crush, even though that part felt quite rushed for the length of time in which this story takes place. She hasn't seen him in over four years. She is only home for the weekend at that point. They didn't speak much in high school. At the same time, you are cheering for her to find some kind of happiness in the middle of her turmoil.
Sissy's journey toward self-discovery is quite painful and strikes a chord in you. It is much darker than traditional teen angst, making it even more heart-wrenching. The ending may surprise you. It is quite abrupt, but leaves a wallop of an impact on you. Though I had an inkling, I still yelled out loud and made my furry kids jump. You may also be compelled to immediately return to the start and re-read, so that you can find all of the clues that you have missed the first time around. It's an excellent read and a great first attempt by this author.
Purchase this book on Kindle or in paperback.
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July 10- Review My Crafty Life
July 11 – Review – ReadingDiva’s Blog
July 12 Excerpt – Taking Time for Mommy
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