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Damaged

Posted by Amanda on October 17, 2014

DamagedTitle: Damaged
Author: Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: Oct. 2014
Pages: 384
Place on Hold  Synopsis: Kinsey’s best friend Camille was killed in a car accident while Kinsey was driving. Plagued by guilt and haunted by Camille’s ghost she goes on an impromptu road trip with Camille’s boyfriend to try and escape.

I really wanted to like this book. I love the author and I’ve liked all of her past books, but this one just didn’t do it for me. My main problem was the whole “Camille’s ghost ” thing which ended up being a huge part of the book. I understand that her ghost was probably meant to represent Kinsey’s guilt and feelings about Camille. However, it was poorly done simply because the book became all about getting away from the ” ghost”. The fact that Kinsey had spent her entire life running from her problems and pushing away her emotions was really counter productive. It wasn’t anything new that she wanted to get away from this ” ghost”, it was what she always did. There really wasn’t any character development or growth because nothing changed. Kinsey spent the whole book running, like always, until she was finally able to let the ghost go, not the actual internal problem, the ghost. It just got old after a while.

Another problem I had with the ghost situation was just when you were sure that Camille was truly just Kinsey’s feelings manifested the author would blur the line. There where times when Camille’s ghost would leave physical marks on her and I have no idea how I’m supposed to take that. Was Kinsey harming herself ? Was she imagining things ? Was Camille an actual ghost and if so why would she act so differently than she had in life ? I have no idea.

This book just left too many questions unanswered. Why did Camille like this guy at all ? Why was she changing before she died ? What the heck is this guys story ? Why is Kinsey’s grandmother so evil ? What happens to her mother, who is clearly mentally ill ? There are so many loose ends that didn’t get tied up and that bothers me.

My last major problem was the relationship Kinsey had with Camille’s boyfriend. So let me get this straight, you think you’re being haunted by the vengeful ghost of your dead best friend and you think the solution to that is to run away, across the country, with her boyfriend ? I don’t see the logic there. I felt that their relationship was odd and totally unnesecarry. Why spend an entire book building a bad relationship between two characters we know nothing about only to have them spilt up at the end of the book ? I’m sure someone can find an English teacher that will tell me it’s meant to represent that the chapter of her life is over or something, that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. Their relationship was really unhealthy because they were both very unstable. I also didn’t like that she needed him. I mean she’s a girl, therefore she could not possibly escape her bad home life and battle her personal demons without an attractive male character there to facilitate it. I scoff at the thought. Just go along with it honey, he might be moody and potentially crazy ,but he’s going to get you out of there !
We need YA lit to show us how ridiculous that sounds, not to perpetuate it.

All in all this was an okay book. I really liked the premiss of it, I just felt that it could have been better executed. Less ghost and more character development would have made for a much better book.

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