Claws by Will Weaver

Jed’s got a great girlfriend, good grades, and a star spot on the tennis team. He figures his life is pretty well perfect until he gets an anonymous note telling him to show up at a nearby cafe. He shows, and this pink-haired punk girl sits down and tells him that his father is having an affair with her mother. Angst, angst, stuff falls apart, and in the end it all comes down to a kayak, a sudden storm, and a rescue by helicopter.

I was okay with this one (good, solid read even if I liked Zipped by Laura Mcneal much more as a variant on the whole parent-having-an-affair thing) up until the last chapter, when everything changed.

That’s my gut reaction as a reader, though. This is going to be hard to describe without giving away a crucial chunk of the plot, but I’ll give it a shot. The thing that happened was very well done in all its appalling unavoidable suddenness (am I being vague and unspoilery enough?)  but as a reader, I felt like the rug had suddenly been pulled out from under me, and the kind of story I was expecting was yanked away just as fast. I would have been okay with it if the aftermath had more time to develop, but the way everything changed in a heartbeat, and then we fastforwarded a year to the epilogue left my head spinning, and while the characters had achieved some sense of peace and closure, I hadn’t.

So if you’re intrigued by my vagueness, go ahead and read Claws by all means, but don’t say I didn’t warn talk vaguely around the plot and confuse you.

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