This wasn’t a bad story. The pacing was fine. The characters were somewhat developed. There was a lot of potential here. The writing itself was also good. But there were a few things about it that took me a bit out of the story.
Firstly I couldn’t really get into the two main characters. If it wasn’t for Natalie being generally awesome Derry and Cal weren’t interesting enough to keep me in the story. If they were the jocks they would be the equivalent of the dumb jock trope. They were the outcast but instead of being deep into things or even remotely smart, they are both failing out of school, they basically idiots. The questions they ask Natalie when they walk into her room, the way they interact with each other, almost everything about them made me think even if Natalie needed patsies for her plan towards immortality she could’ve done way better than them.
Natalie’s mom being a bible thumper instead of just an average mom was also a bit too obvious for me. A clueless oddly supportive mom would’ve been less cliché. Natalie her self was great though. She knew what she wanted, had good back story that was revealed as you got to know her and not in some awkward exposition. And her motives for seeking immortality were clearly defined. This was made the book a hard read. There is no real why for the other two. I mean we understand their family dynamics but there’s no why? There has to be some sort of why otherwise what did Natalie hold over them to convince them this was a good idea? They are basically idiots and what she asked them to do was freakn massive. Even for the most unintelligent person in the world, there are some lines they can’t be coerced into crossing without proper motivation.
Lastly, the ending just sorta happened, I mean it was okay but, I dunno. I was ready for something bigger but it took the non-supernatural route which was a big let down. The one person I disliked the most, Cal, got what he deserved. Natalie did also, but beyond that, I didn’t care enough about the characters beyond Natalie to enjoy it. After going through the motions of this book and getting involved in the two hours of my day it took to finish it, it was frustrating that I have no idea why the two leads would agree to this. Also, Cal punking out all the time increased his level of annoyance because there was no real payoff there either. He didn’t step up and walk away from it all because he couldn’t hack it. He continued with the plan and also continued to be useless.
And the actual ending, after a rather decent book even with all its faults, was just odd. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the weirdness of it. I can’t picture it actually happening that way.
I guess the real let down was with Derry. With his family situation he had so much to gain from this working out but unlike how I knew why Natalie wanted ultimate power his motives weren’t used to clearly define that was why he wanted it. And he had more than enough reasons with the mom and stepdad situation he was living in, plenty. But he sorta just follows along with the plan with the same kinda ‘okay’ nonchalance, non-commital attitude that Cal does.
Would I recommend this story? Yeah. It was an okay read. Fun even. It was sure and the ending, although short, did hold a fair bit of punch even if the second ending deflated that high, a lot. Unfortunately for me, I could only connect with one character and the moment a certain character was featured in the middle of the book I could see where this was going and kind of only read in hopes to prove myself wrong, sadly I wasn’t.