Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: The Tension of Opposites

The Tension of Opposites
Kristina McBride
2010; Egmont; ISBN 978-1-60684-085-6 (hardcover)

Summary: Ever since her best friend Noelle was kidnapped two years ago, Tessa hasn't really lived; she's been in limbo.  But when Noelle miraculously escapes her kidnapper, Tessa is so happy to have her friend back.  But the girl who returned isn't the same as Tessa's friend.  Calling herself Elle, she acts recklessly, her emotions extreme and quicksilver.  Tessa wants to help Elle, wants to protect her from being hurt.  But in protecting Elle, Tessa hurts herself: it interferes with Tessa's new relationship with Max, for one.  How can Tessa strike a balance between herself and Elle?

Part of a wave of kidnapping novels, The Tension of Opposites chooses to begin with Noelle returning home.  Thanks to this choice, readers experience the tangled aftermath along with both Noelle/Elle and Tessa.  On the one hand, Elle attempts to live life on her own terms, certain that she can never be hurt again like she was by her kidnapper.  Tessa, meanwhile, wants to protect Elle so that she won't be hurt.  This sets up an interesting dichotomy between the two girls, and adds a crackle of suspense to the novel.  Dark yet hopeful, The Tension of Opposites will appeal to readers who enjoyed page-turners like Bonechiller by Graham McNamee.

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