Review: James Snyder – Into the Abyss

Into the Abyss
James Snyder

Connelly’s life has taken a turn for the better. For once, she is wanted (despite ending up in a bad place once again to get there), and her foster parents seem great. But slowly, slowly, everything falls apart again, and she is left on the streets.

This middle novel in the series (The Beautiful-Ugly Trilogy)

stomps on your heart in the same way the first one tore it. It was painful to read, and yet just as painful to put it down, not knowing what would happen next.

Those brief moments when Connelly feels like she has a family you want to celebrate with her, but also understand her reservedness. Her inability to keep things together after that however, is kinda annoying. She says she knows how to say no, how to just observe, but she can’t help spoiling what she has.

I find it hard to reconcile Connelly dropping drugs so quickly with the rate at which she moved into them. She’s into some hard things, it’s easy for her to go deeper in than to come out. Yet when she has a change of scenery, she feels those changes strongly enough that they take the joy or ignorant bliss of drugs from her.

The gang head is friendly than the average Joe on the street! If it’s true, the way New York is portrayed here, I never want to go there. Sure, Connelly isn’t very good at picking friends, but she doesn’t have much experience.

Something that disturbed me was the way that Snyer basically made every male in Connelly’s life a predator or a hindrance. In the end, even the question to find her brother was answered in this way. In fact, I’m not sure there are any wholly positive influences, apart from that art teacher a long time ago. The women are equally dysfunctional as the men, and it’s a hard, cruel world out there for everyone.

This is a gritty novel, even more so than the first one. The ending fits in with the beginning, and smoothly transitions into the next novel, so if you’ve got them, make sure you take them all with you to your reading spot.

Trigger warnings for drug use, rape, sexual content, suicide and swearing. Definitely a young adult novel, not teenage fiction.

I requested this trilogy directly from the author, and was lucky enough to receive all of them at once. I’m really glad I did, as these were really enjoyable, if emotionally difficult to read.

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