About the Book
Like the yearning, doomed young clones in Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, three teenagers with XP (a life-threatening allergy to sunlight) are a species unto themselves. As seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Allie Kim, they roam the silent streets, looking for adventure, while others sleep. When Allie’s best friend introduces the trio to Parkour, the stunt-sport of running and climbing off forest cliffs and tall buildings (risky in daylight and potentially deadly by darkness), they feel truly alive, equal to the “daytimers.”
On a random summer night, while scaling a building like any other, the three happen to peer into an empty apartment and glimpse an older man with what looks like a dead girl. A game of cat-and-mouse ensues that escalates through the underground world of hospital confinement, off-the-grid sports, and forbidden love. Allie, who can never see the light of day, discovers she’s the lone key to stopping a human monster.
I wanted to like this book, love it even. I really did. But it fell extremely short of my expectations. This story revolves around 3 friends and is told through the point of view of one of them, Alexis (Allie) Kim. These teens have a disease known as XP, an ‘allergy’ to sunlight so their days are spent inside or bundled from head to toe if they have to go out. They truly live at night. Juliet, the daredevil of the group, decides that she is going to keep things interesting and exciting, after all, their life expectancy is somewhere around 40 (normally) so why not take some risks? She teaches her friends the ins and outs of Parkour, a sport involving jumping from building to building and swinging from balconies, among other things. But on one such trip, Allie and her friends see something not quite right in a newly constructed and empty building – a man in an empty apartment looking like he was trying to resuscitate a woman…or was it something more serious than that?
The story seemed to flow well in the beginning, but by halfway through the book I wanted to start to skip through pages because it just seemed to drag. The story itself had so much potential, and there were some twists and turns that did hold my attention, at least for a while. But, the ending felt rushed, somewhat unbelievable, and left too many loose ends for me.
The summary of the story really had me intrigued, but unfortunately for me it fell short, especially compared to some of her other work. Give it a shot if you have some time but be warned that it does end with an open ending, leading into what I can only assume will be a sequel.
About the Author
Jacquelyn Mitchard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean, the very first Oprah Book Club pick, as well as more than twenty other critically acclaimed books for adults and teens. A nominee for several national and international awards, she served on the 2004 Fiction Jury for the National Book Award. In addition, she is a longtime journalist and regular contributor to Real Simple and Parade magazines.