Thi book was overall well-written, but I have to say it made me uncomfortable. By which I mean that you can tell that it's not going to end well, that a ton of bad things are going to happen to the characters, and which just made me very anxious since half the time everything was spiralling into Doom.
I don't see many YA books where it's a male protagonist falling in love with a girl (whereas it's usually the other way round). The twist? Candy is a teen prostitute. She's on heroin. She's with...some very very bad people.
And our 15-year old, naive, innocent teenage boy falls in love with her. After meeting her twice.
I mean it's a chance encounter, right, during which Joe is threatened by Candy's pimp (who is a really dangerous guy who threatens to kill him if he ever sees him again). You'd think he'd take the hint and just stay out of this deadly territory.
But no, for some reason Candy has seen fit to actually give him her mobile number, thus dragging him deeper in. Which of course he does. And it gets really dangerous.
I'm not saying I don't sympathise with Candy's situation. But the book is making out that it's like "do anything for love", whereas it's not really love when you met someone TWICE, and besides...this is really dangerous. It's drugs and prosititution.
Our protag even goes into London to search for her house. He's that much in love with her (despite constantly saying they're "just friends" - oh come on, they were making out against the wall of London Zoo!).
And then he says stuff like "oh she can probably just give up heroin" because he's really naive and doesn't understand these things.
I didn't really get the ending though. He meets with Candy again one last time, then she's released from rehab...and he doesn't see her again? No happy ending?
So...what actually happened to Candy in the end? It's up in the air. It's not very satisfactory.
I have to say that despite the book being extremely predictable at every corner, it does tackle some intense topics and did keep me on the edge of my seat. By which I mean I was on the edge of my seat because I knew everything was going downhill and please could the author just get it over with and put me out of my misery.
I did like the book, but...it just made me anxious and just really scared for what was going to happen to the characters, and to me that isn't an enjoyable reading experience.
I guess you can call it a romance. Kind of.
Towards the end it was less romance and more in the lines of "hostage situation + drug withdrawal + CANDY KILLS EVERYONE" although part of that is exaggerated on my part.