Paradise comes at a cost.
Welcome to Gardnerville. It’s paradise! Have a disease or disability? Come to Gardnerville where you will be healed and can live well past 100! Skylar can take people’s secrets. In turn, she has gaps in her memory from all the secrets she takes. Her older sister Piper can make anyone do anything just by saying it. Together they record their days on cassette tapes. Skylar is pretty much doped up every day so she doesn’t have to remember what she dealt with the day before.
Every fourth year in Gardnerville, teens turn magical and deadly, and are committed to a reformatory. However many people die determines the number of years they are committed. This fourth year, Piper sent many to their death by leading them off the trestle bridge. Skylar can’t seem to remember Piper but she can’t seem to forget her either. Is she dead? Is she at the Reformatory?
This book messed with my mind the whole time! It was confusing to keep up with the chapters going back and forth from present day, to 8 years ago, 4 years ago, etc. The world building and character development was just rather jumbled and seemed like it was botched together. The first half of the story moved slowly but I started to become more intrigued about 3/4 of the way through. While I enjoy novels featuring magical realism/paranormal aspects, I couldn’t fall in love with this one because I kept scratching my head and feeling lost and confused. This book was seriously a mind trip with all the different secrets that are revealed, trying to keep up with what character did what…normally I would like that but I couldn’t get a grasp on what was really happening.
On a positive note, the writer’s style is unique so I do want to give some of her other novels a try. I give it a 3.5 because it was weird and interesting enough to keep me reading, but I won’t gush over it.