Overview: New Zealand author Marita A. Hansen weaves a breathtaking tale of revenge and violence in the first book from the new series Behind the Lives.
A gang leader, a hapless teenage girl, a young father struggling to support his wife and baby, an abused boy and more give different sides to a harrowing tale that could be told anywhere in the world.
It will leave you breathless.
My Opinion: When a friend of mine asked me what I think about this book, all I said was that it kept me heavy-hearted during the entire time I was reading. Not in a bad way though - but because it was written so vividly I can even say it felt so much like everything is happening right before me.
Each chapter is told by different characters, and surprisingly enough, each voice is owned, authentic - and sounded so much like being told by different persons. You get to peek into the minds of all characters - understanding their actions and decisions - and being able to sympathize with them. It made me attached to the characters - hurting when they get hurt, feeling scared when they are scared, and angry when they are. It allowed me to live their lives in such a short time that I engaged myself reading the book. Kudos to the author for this, as its not easy to be changing voices and give identity to each and everyone of them.
My heart goes out to all the characters - and hated Tama from the very first chapter to the last. His desire to avenge the wrong things done to him or to his mates, to own the girl he believed to really love, and to keep his gang together and loyal to him - he is a lost soul, but let me say a hopeless one too. His distorted view of the world around him explained why he is a very effective antagonist.
This novel is painfully honest - showing us a different side of teenage life, the one entangled with sex and violence. It may be too much for some, but I'd definitely recommend this as a very good read. This is a story with a roller coaster of emotions - and the best part is - you get to feel each and everyone of them. Marita did a great job, definitely cant wait for her next books!