Unforgivable by Amy Reed | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
In the highly anticipated sequel to one of my favorite reads last year, Invincible, Unforgivable
paints a much darker image on the lives of Evie and Marcus and their
all-consuming love for one another. Amy Reed should be highly praised
for her proper portrayal of the complexities of human emotions and the
fact that her teenagers feel–and act–like teenagers who are struggling.
was one of the best things about Invincible, it felt real and as
painful as one could expect. We knew instantly at the end of the
previous novel that we would be left in a hurricane of heartbreak and
changes and Unforgivable picks right up on that tone. Unforgivable is
fast and beautiful and a world of cloudy memories and painful
Its biggest theme? Moving on. Letting go. And
how difficult it can be to do so. You see, letting go of loved ones is
all well and good in theory, but it takes some time to resonate with our
decision. Reed’s prose brings to life this sort of feeling and will tug
on your heartstrings until the very final pages.
us that, in order to move on, we have to make peace with ourselves, our
demons and the past. In order to move forward, we cannot continue
taking steps backward.
Readers will enjoy seeing Marcus’
point of view this time around and it is easy to find him sympathetic.
Evie and Marcus both have incredibly raw and unique voices and
backstories that you can’t help but to love them just as much as you
want to shake or protect them. I liked that we swapped narrators because
this is Marcus and this is his story and while Evie’s heavily involved
in it, it’s still all him.
We know Evie’s story. Her
struggles. We get a bit of closure on that, too, and an ending that is
open to interpretation. I liked how intimate it felt getting to know
Marcus and while I wish we could have directly seen more of Evie’s
recovery and all that jazz, I appreciated it for what it was and how it
Because Marcus is the narrator this time there’s an
obvious shift in the prose and it’s a good one. It kept things fresh
and Reed’s writing is entirely to thank for that one. Again, I can’t
stress how much of a gift and surprise her words have meant to me but
there’s just this spark there.
You won’t feel it’s fiction.
being said, Marcus has a history all his own that is a big contrast to
Evie’s. I liked seeing it explored and seeing him pour his heart out for
us. It’s heartbreaking. There’s a rush to it that isn’t unlike the
world as it passes us by.
We see more of his family and how
complex things are in his home life. It’s easy to see why he fell in
love with that version of Evie–it compares to a lot of things and it’s
just painful to hear his past. I should warn you, readers, that there’s a
lot more references to depression and self harm in this one than there
was in Invincible.
Marcus struggles with a lot of things: his
life with Evie, his life before Evie, his memories of happier and worse
times with his mother, his brother and father. He struggles coming to
terms with his future, his past, his presence–all of it is catching up
to him and it’s such a raw thing to see.
What I love most
about Marcus is that like Evie, there are a lot of pieces of their
personalities that change through time. They connect with each other
like a well made puzzle and just as quickly can they fall apart. I felt
Marcus’ pain at not being able to see Evie, I felt his joy when he could
see her and it’s impossible to not feel anything for either character.
Unforgivable is one of the best young adult novels you can read this
year. Think Lurlene McDaniel meets Gayle Foreman meets Ellen Hopkins
meets John Green–there’s something undeniable about these books and
these characters and it’s so easy to make parallels between this work of
fiction and the real world.
And Marcus and Evie are two
characters that find each other somewhere in the middle and their flaws,
their love, their ups and their downs, make their thoughts and story
beautiful. Two of the best characters in modern young adult literature
by far and an absolute must-read!