Holy hell. How to rate this.
This has got to be the most bizarre correlation to a group of movies I think I've ever suggested, but the more I think on it, it's the BEST way to sum up the book in a nutshell. It's like taking the movie 'Heathers' and mixing it with 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', then add a dash of 'Scooby Doo' and 'Fight Club'... maybe even a sneeze from Gossip Girls. The 'Heathers' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' represent how much darker it was than I anticipated. 'Scooby Doo' just ALWAYS comes to mind when you mix teens and a mystery. Fight Club, because nobody talks about Fight ClubThe Assignment. Everybody condones and/or participates in The Assignment. You can't avoid The Assignment. The sheer amount of angst and 'cliques' and high school pecking order is the sneeze from Gossip Girls.
Odd mixture, right? With the exception of the beginning, when I was trying the learn what The Assignment was, why one would want to avoid it, and drowning in angst; I was sucked into the pages. The early parts, as I mentioned, was a little more of a battle. I needed chapter breaks and tried to express to my husband (unsuccessfully) what was going on. I wanted to share- I think this would be a fabulous buddy read choice! The mystery lead a nice trails of breadcrumbs, although it's set up where I NEVER would have predicted the end based upon the beginning. Pieces started falling into place quickly enough to engage me (especially getting me over my initial awkwardness.)
It's that early acclimation that really docked that final star off my review. That, and I wanted more Casper (I'm selfish) and I really fought against the mature residents of the town and their reactions based upon past Assignments. I just, as a parent, can fathom an entire town supporting this for so long. It just grates against me so much- and that contributed to my early reluctance. Ultimately, if you don't mind a more vanilla YA romance mystery with dark overtones of the underbelly of mob mentality, I would HIGHLY recommend picking this up. Once I was finally hooked, I fell hard and crushed on Crushing Summer!
I received a free eBook from the author in exchange for an unbiased review as part of a Love Between the Sheets blog tour. My thoughts are my own.