Nalena's mom hoards paper, but there's more to it than that. She spends her days scribbling down one sentence stories in tiny writing, covering page after page until the paper fills every corner of the house and there is barely room to sit or walk. Nalena hates this lifestyle, especially since it's made her a target for bullies at school. Still, she loves her mother, and continues to bring her paper and quietly endure the loneliness. But when Nalena starts to develop abilities beyond her understanding, she knows that there's more going on in the world than her mother has ever shared with her. Garret Reese seems to have the answers to Nalena's questions, although he and his family are also somewhat mysterious.
Positive CommentsI liked a lot of Nalena's qualities. Her loyalty to her mother is what hooked me initially. Even when she (and the reader) is given to understand that her mother is clearly mentally ill, Nalena remains as a loving and accepting daughter. I liked how the author captured the dysfunctional family atmosphere between Nalena and her mother, and made it still feel like a loving relationship.
Nalena's dysfunctional lifestyle stands in sharp contrast to Garrets very normal seeming family, representing things she's missed out on. I liked seeing Nalena's reaction to them, and I liked how it effected her development and her decisions. I liked the Reese family as a whole, with their rambunctious and welcoming attitudes.
I liked that Nalena and Garret's relationship is slow building and awkward. It felt real to me, very reflective of how actual adolescent relationships tend to start out.
The plot started out mysterious and kept me guessing up until the climax. I loved that. I really expected the book to go in an entirely different direction, but I'm happy to be surprised.