River is the bad boy in town, and Amber the single-wanderer idiot. After an explosive first meeting, Amber finds herself wanting more of River, even as he tried to chase her away. Amber goes against her usual self and decides to grasp him anyway, finding herself getting more deeply involved every day.
First things first – I didn’t read this as part of the series. I picked it up, hid it from my girlfriend, and promptly sat down to read it. Once she caught me, she tried to ruin it for me by telling me it’s the third book in a series! But it was too late, I was already hooked in. I did spend some time away from it thinking about going back to reading it, but no real in-depth wondering about what was happening to the characters while I was away.
I found myself frustrated by Amber and her naivety, but this was something I believe the author crafted. As the novel progressed, Amber became a bit less stupid – a bit more world-wise as her teacher would have wanted her to be. Still though, how could she be so stupid in the first place? Sure she was travelling Europe. But still, that she hadn’t been taken up and raped yet? When she’s happily wandering around where no-one else is?
The novelty of this book to me was that I never got many history lessons about Ireland, and this had a briefing on the Irish potato famine, which I had only ever heard of as a ‘joke’ by less politically-correct-minded friends. There were some really good discussions about the IRA (google it – or just be taught about it by the novel in a relatively unbiased manner) and references to Ireland’s oral culture. I could have done with more of this!
There seemed to be a lot of focus on how different Ireland was to Oregon. I’ve never been to Oregon, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between that town, and any other one. Amber constantly thinking about what it is like in her old home town isn’t useful, and doesn’t actually add to the storyline. More solid comparisons would have done the trick for me.
I’m putting this under the category of Young Adult, but only because of the sex scenes in it. Granted, they are brief, but they are slightly graphic. Otherwise I’d be putting it down as teenage fiction because its storyline isn’t that gripping, and I simply didn’t feel any depth – typical romance blah blah. At least Amber was smart enough to take some of her father’s advice….
I’ll be giving this a solid 3 stars, just because it wasn’t as ‘grabby’ and believable as I could have hoped. I remain willing to read more of this author, and see if this is a typical example of her work.