What a whirlwind ride of a book.
Cadence, Mirren, Johnny are cousins, Gat is Johnny’s friend, all four of them spend their summers at the cousins’ grandfather’s private island with the cousins’ family. They all spend time at the Cuddledown house where they have fun and make up their own rules away from all the adults.
Before their 15th summer, Cadence’s father divorces her mom saying that he couldn’t pretend to be a Sinclair anymore. This quote seems confusing until the next actions of Cadence’s mother. When Cadence wants to cry and be visibly upset on the lawn like a girl whose father just walked out on her and her mother, her mother gets upset with her and tells her to act normal and go inside so they can start to get rid of the memories of her father. This type of attitude when bad things happen seems to be a family trait that is shown throughout the book.
When her and her mother get to the island, memories of the recently passed grandmother start to flood the family, including Gat, and seem to affect the grandfather especially harshly. Gat is more direct with his grief, talking about missing her at dinner and speaking about the random things that she used to do throughout the day. This rubs the family the wrong way because they are trying to act as if their grandmother never existed. Gat’s position as an outsider solidifies as he rubs the cousins the wrong way after he tries to convince them that they were being selfish by only caring about their summer private island and not about the less fortunate.
Gat becomes close to Cadence as she starts to take his thoughts seriously and thinks about her time on the island. Slowly their relationship builds as they believe that they are starting to fall in love, kissing innocently a few times. Everything seems to be going smoothly, but then an accident occurs.
Cadence is found half drowned and shivering on the beach, and in her hospital stay has been found to have received a brain injury during the process that causes her to have crippling migraines. For two years, she suffers and tries to contact her cousins and Gat, but no one is responding. Her mom tries to keep her from going to the island and succeeds for 2 years, but as her migraines are getting worse and worse she finally gets to go back once she has turned 17.
When she get to the island, her grandfather has deteriorated and has slight dementia as he keeps mixing her up with her cousin Mirren. Her aunts and their other children all stay at the renovated main house, but they are all acting strange. She goes to Cuddledown and all of the cousins and Gat are still there, looking perfectly healthy and everything seems to be all right for awhile, but something is still wrong.
I loved this book. If this is turned into a movie I will definitely try to see it and review it within the first week or so. The ending is definitely surprising and it is one of the most suspenseful books I have ever read. Very intriguing with interesting characters and I would recommend to anyone.
Overall Rating: 5/5