January 5, 2016 by Betty
In Place of Never
By: Julie Anne Lindsey
Length: 269 pages (Paperback)
Genre: YA Fiction, Romance
Publication date: February 2, 2016
Can the truth set her free?…
A part of Mercy died the summer her sister tragically drowned. Now Mercy has a chance to discover if Faith’s death was an accident—or murder. Her first step is to confront the lead suspects: a band of traveling gypsies—the last people who saw her sister alive. But Mercy finds an unexpected ally in Cross, the soulful musician in their ranks. He’s a kindred spirit, someone who sees into her heart for the first time in, well, forever. Yet stirring up the past puts Mercy in danger…
Suddenly someone is shadowing Mercy’s every move, making her even more determined to uncover the facts. With Cross by her side, she is ready to face it all, even if that means opening up to him, knowing he may one day leave her. What she discovers is a truth that rocks the foundation of her small river town—and a love worth risking everything for.
This was my very first book of the year, and let me say that it was a great book to start me off. To be honest, the summary seemed interesting enough, but I didn’t really have high expectations for the book. The idea of gypsies however (Roma is the correct term though) did catch my interest. I have a love for all different types of cultures and Roma are near the top of that list.
I was wonderfully surprised by how much I really did enjoy the book. It is a story about loss, grief, guilt, hope and love. After the death of her older sister, and the later death of her mother, Mercy has retreated into herself due to grief and guilt. The book begins with a view into the broken family dynamic but allows the reader to get a glimpse of each character’s personality.
I loved Mercy’s character from the start. While she seemed a little self absorbed in her own feelings at the start, I came to understand her a little better through out the book. She is so real and easy to relate to. One of my favorite lines from the book is when Mercy and Cross/Will are talking about what song lyrics he’s going to choose for his last performance.
“I need a power ballad, something that meets everyone where they live.”
Power ballad? “You mean a love song?”
He nodded. “Everyone loves someone. People latch onto those songs because they relate.”
I whispered the revelation. “Because those songs make them feel.”
I agree with their assessment completely. If a reader cannot relate in any way to a story or character, then they lose interesting and the person or book does not leave an impression. The characters in this book are all so different, yet they are so real that most readers will probably know someone that they can associate to the characters’ personalities. As the story progresses, I loved watching as Mercy slowly fights her way out of her self induced oppression. It was nice to see how Cross, a musician among the traveling gypsy sideshow, is a big factor in helping her overcome her woe, but he isn’t the reason she is able to. He accepted her as she was and helped her accept herself also. Mercy comes to grips with the past and discovers herself along the way.
Something else I enjoyed was the unraveling of the mysterious circumstances of Faith’s death. Before she has to leave for college, Mercy is determined to find out all the circumstances of Faith’s death, and we journey with her in her quest to learn the truth.Mercy herself mentions that she was not expecting to unravel some dark conspiracy surrounding her death, but there is more to Faith’s death than what everyone believes.
All in all it is a great read. I look forward to its coming release!
**I received this as a free review ebook via NetGalley to give an honest review**