Part ghost story, part epic roadtrip, and part reluctant love story, DAMAGED offers readers another piercing, poignant story full of emotional truth from author Amy Reed.
After Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident during which Kinsey was driving, Kinsey shuts down, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. All she wants during the last few weeks of high school is to be left alone, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend, Hunter–who was also in the car that night–has different ideas.
Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t outrun Camille, who begins haunting her dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, Kinsey runs away with Hunter to San Francisco. As they drive across the country, trying to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions all she once believed about her friendship with Camille. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing. Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.
Publishes in US: October 14, 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Simon Teen via Edelweiss
Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository
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I wanted to read Damaged because I have devoured her other novels. This one skirts into the paranormal side with the ghost aspect, which is good to see her branch out some, but still give flawed and hurting characters and getting to see them on their journey to healing and growth as a person.
I immediately connected with Kinsey. She handles her grief over losing her best friend and the fact that she was driving when she died. But she puts on a strong front and doesn't cry or break down in front of others. But she is riddled with nightmares, and the depressed mom and the mean mom, and the I am there for you and so sorry mom cycles through. Kinsey is a person of order and she likes to have a plan. Working out the steps on how to get what she is aiming for helps keep her focused on task at hand rather than the pain.
The ghostly elements were pretty creepy, especially when they morphed out of her dreams and into the waking hours. She sees her best friend and at times what she sees/imagines Camille blaming her, or they are in the car. Making her think that she is the one who should be dead. And things get even more intense when Hunter, Camille's boyfriend runs into Kinsey and they end up finally leaning on each other for support, when they weren't before.
They go on a road trip, and at times Hunter is a jerk, and he drinks too much, but then is a different person in the afternoons when his hangovers start to fade away. But Kinsey tries to see beyond this mess of a boy to what Camille saw in him. Kinsey starts to see those softer spots, and she finds herself attracted to him as their roadtrip goes on.
Hunter challenges her, knowing that she is normally quiet, reserved and afraid of going off schedule, and trying things new. What some people just see as the quiet girl or snobby because she doesn't talk to many people, they don't see the lonely girl beneath, who feels different because she doesn't care about the drama, and she loves to study and not much will get in her way. She is quiet a lot because she's had to take on a job and at times its like the roles are reversed with her and her mom, Kinsey doing it because otherwise won't get down in her most down times.
The ending was fitting for the story and I felt pretty satisfied. It tied up things pretty well, and showed their character growth. It was the perfect balance because I can imagine what things could look like for them since some of their issues were resolved or on the way to healing for their futures.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
How have you tried to outrun pain?