The second book in the series, and if you're reading them in order, you might not like this as well as the first. The plot is great, the characters continue to grow and change - but we already know them, and that first meeting was pretty incredible.
So while this is wonderful, it is just shy of the fabulosity of the first book. (did I just make up that word fabulosity?).
I think my favourite thing about this story is the way Tod keeps walking in on Nash and Kaylee when they're making out. It just gets to be fall-down funny with Tod's wry humor. I laughed out loud several times, all due to the comments Tod makes. He is a wonderful character. If you're going to have teenagers in hot sexual tension scenes and want to resolve them in a PG-13 way, then Tod is definitely your guy. Genius.
Kaylee is a pretty smart kid. We get to see her processing life here, solving problems. She deals with a boyfriend who wants her to go all the way. She deals with an dad who, after abandoning her, is now back and is navigating the dangerous "how to be a parent" waters after all his mistakes. Kaylee is easy to like.
Unless, of course, you're Sophie. And that's ok, because every story involving teenagers should probably have a snarky, selfish bitch thrown in for good measure. Emma, the faithful friend, balances her nicely.
What I truly love about this book is the story of redemption. Actions have consequences, and Rachel Vincent hammers this home like no other YA author I've read. The themes in these books are off the charts wonderful: wanting to protect and save those who've made stupid mistakes, giving up one's life for another, dealing with choices made, life doesn't always have a happy ending.
And the presentation of the whole idea that we can advise and help, but can't make choices for others is flat out amazing. This author can preach it without trying. The story itself just screams good moral choices.
The more I read of this series the more I love it. I can't wait to get into the next book.