Tension of Opposites
Available May 25, 2010
Two years ago, Tessa’s best friend Noelle disappeared, leaving behind only her red bicycle and shattered memories. Tessa forces herself to accept the likelihood that her friend is dead. Then, in a shocking revelation from Noelle’s brother, Tessa learns that her friend is alive. That she’s been rescued from her captor. That she’ll be coming home.
Desperate to revive the kinship she once shared with Noelle, Tessa calls and visits, trying again and again to see her friend, only to be told Noelle isn’t ready. When she’s finally able to confront her, Tessa finds Noelle – who now insists on being called Elle – to be a stranger, aloof and hateful. Tessa won’t be deterred, nor will she sit idly by while Elle follows her new destructive path.
Tessa focuses so much on saving Elle that she pushes away everyone else around her, including the handsome new guy and his romantic hopes. Max challenges Tessa to reach beyond her comfort zones, to make her own needs a priority and to have confidence in her talent as a budding photographer.
While not overly graphic in its rehashing of Elle’s abduction, this isn’t a neat and tidy story, with a clear A-to-B plotline. Just as the reality of returning from horror would be twisted and messy, Elle’s re-acclimation into her family and school is raw and difficult. Her decisions reflect her turmoil. Tessa’s choices reflect her feelings of guilt and helplessness. The deep drama sucks the reader in and doesn’t let go until the last page is read. McBride strikes a good balance between darkness and hope.
Brief references to what happened to Noelle after her kidnapping. No graphic details. Kissing between Tessa and her boyfriend. Elle talks frankly about planning to have sex with a boy she knows is only seeing her for the attention.
No graphic descriptions of violence. Very brief references to things which occurred during Noelle’s captivity.
Teens attend parties and drink beer. Some smoke pot. Main character is seen as a “goody-goody,” though she does drink a beer at one of the parties.