ARC Review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch


Damage Done
Series: None
Author: Amanda Panitch
Published July 21st 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Synopsis
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.
Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.
After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.
Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.
One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Wow, just wow. I would like to apologise in advance for this review, as I'll never be able to gush enough over how amazing Damage Done is. 

First of all, let me say I wasn't really expecting much from this book. When I saw it on NetGalley a few months ago, it was definitely a case of cover love, and the fact that it was read now sealed the deal. Since then, I have seen an influx of flattering reviews, and knew I needed to read it ASAP. That was, easily, one of the best decisions I've made recently.

As stated in the synopsis, Julia/Lucy had to run from her original life, because her sociopathic brother shot 11 people in her school band room. And to top it all off, she was in the room, and was the sole survivor. Thinking her brother was in a coma after a failed suicide attempt, Lucy, as she is now known, can now relax, and try to resume a normal life. Unfortunately her past soon catches up with her, and everything falls apart.

Considering this was Panitch's debut novel, I am overwhelmed with the depth of her writing. I started this book at approximately 10 am this morning, and it's only 9:30 pm as I'm writing this. Honestly, I could not put down this book. Basically, the only time I've stopped reading was to shower, and eat; other than that, I've had my iPad glued to my hand. All the descriptive language made me feel as if I was actually in the book, and considering how thrilling it was, this wasn't exactly a 'nice' feeling. As every chapter passed by, I was on the edge of my seat for more. The final chapters neigh on killed me, and I was completely thrown by the revelation at the end. Normally I can sort of guess what the plot twist will be, and this was a case that I didn't even want to consider it could be true.

Julia/Lucy was a character you wanted to like, but at the same time there was always something beneath the surface that made you stay away. Her love for Ryan was interesting, and I loved how Panitch dealt with this situation. To be perfectly honest, all the character were fascinating to read about, included the somewhat absentee parents, who I kind of want to blame for some of the sociopathic tendencies present throughout the story. Dr Spence was a wonderful addition to the story, and his interludes from his journal between chapters helped to increase the tension of the action.

I don't even think there's more I can say about this book, other than I am in shock and awe at this book. It was utter perfection, and Panitch should be lauded for her excellent debut. Everyone should get there hands on this book as soon as they can, and I seriously can not wait for more from Panitch - she is an author to keep an eye on, and I'm expecting great things from her in the future.

Dates Read:
July 10, 2015

5 Stars  

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