Belinda spent the last six years in a coma after falling suddenly and mysteriously ill. When she wakes up, she’s sixteen and locked inside her body. Her parents have given up on her ever recovering and it takes a particularly perceptive teenager to notice the small changes. Belinda seems to be reacting to Carly’s voice more than to anything else and an unlikely friendship begins between the two girls.
I liked this book a lot until suddenly I didn’t. The first part, everything about Belinda being locked in, Carly’s belief that she’s awake, the birth of their friendship and the beginnings of Belinda’s feelings for her new friend, all that is really good. Annette Mori handles the topic in a very delicate manner and the way she writes both characters makes them very endearing. The secondary characters – both young women’s families, the friends they meet – are well-written too.
Then a terribly clichéd French character entered, which started to get me out of the story. The way one of the secondary characters’ struggle with alcohol was written didn’t help and the not-acting-on-our-feelings game Carly and Belinda play for all the wrong reasons got old. It felt like the book was trying too hard and it lost me on the way.
I listened to the audiobook and the narration is pretty good, the various young women have distinctive enough voices and the pace is effective.
In the end, this wasn’t a book for me, but other reviewers found themselves sufficiently involved in the first half of the story to enjoy it in its entirety, so give it a try and make up your own mind.