Thursday, September 12, 2013

REVIEW: A Dark Road by Amanda Lance

Not every friendship is as harmless as it seems.

Loner James McKay wants nothing to do with Hadley Grayson. After all, the last thing a drug dealer needs is the pretty, new girl trying to be friends. Walking distractions like her lead to trouble, the kind that can get you 10 to 15 behind bars. 

Likewise, fencing champion Hadley Grayson isn’t thrilled about her family uprooting her during her senior year of high school. At least there’s James McKay, the quiet, mad scientist who is as adorable as he is mysterious.

Though McKay may reject the idea of friendship, he gets one whether he wants it or not. But once the lies are told and the rumors spread, the dangers of meth making and dealing are impossible to avoid. Between secrets and overdosing classmates, McKay and Hadley will learn that loneliness can be a two-way street, changing both of their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

Whether it was his unhappiness I was picking up on or just trying to deflect my own, I knew that if I could squeeze that loneliness out of him, then I could help us both.

When Amanda Lance first contacted me about reviewing A Dark Road, it didn't take me long to say yes. It sounded dark and gritty. And since I have just started watching Breaking Bad I was incredibly intrigued by the premise of the story. This is the exact type of book that I'm drawn to.

Hadley Grayson is new in town. And she's not happy about it. Uprooted from her old school and the one thing that kept her sane. Hadley is a champion fencer and her new school doesn't offer the sport. There's nothing whatsoever appealing about her new hometown. But then Hadley lays eyes on James McKay and maybe, just maybe, he may make it all worthwhile.

James McKay, although no one calls him James, is incredibly intelligent, a loner and the town's resident meth cook and supplier, also doing the occasional deal. McKay doesn't let anyone into his world. That leaves yourself open to people discovering your secrets. But then Hadley Grayson comes to town. And she could quite possibly be just as alone as he is.

Sometimes, actions speak much more loudly than anything we can ever say, or any shrug we can ever shrug. When he slammed his lips into mine, I knew he wasn't just speaking to me, he was screaming to me.
I closed my eyes and screamed back.

Right from the time we get to meet McKay I was drawn to him. Coming from a broken family, he is so alone in the world. No mother to care for him, an almost completely absent father and only his dog for company. It took me a little longer to connect with Hadley and I cant even really put my finger on why, but as her friendship with McKay grew, so did my connection with her. She was so loyal and caring when it came to McKay. She provided some goodness in his bleak existence. 

A Dark Road is told from the point of view of both Hadley and McKay, with each chapter labelled as such so that there's never any confusion. At about the seventy five percent mark it switches from McKay to James and for me that was when McKay really started letting Hadley into his world and their friendship kicked up a notch. You see Hadley is the person who gets him the most and she calls him James not McKay. For me it really highlighted the before Hadley McKay and the after Hadley James, because there was definitely a change in him as she had more of an impact on his life. 

This book turned out to be everything that I was looking for. It was well written with characters that I really cared about. It had that sense of darkness that I was after. And then there was that ending that completely caught me by surprise. My poor, aching heart!!!

"What does she have on you?"
Nothing. Everything. My Whole Heart.

4.5/5 Stars.

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