Friday, 21 April 2017

Review: On The Outside by Siera Maley

Synopsis from Amazon:
High school junior Kayla and her two best friends have always been close. Even after Kayla becomes a cheerleader with a basketball star boyfriend, Riley falls in with the skaters, and Evan loses himself in school, the three remain dedicated to their promise to each other: to remain friends no matter what. But when a disastrous prom ends with Kayla single and her best friends dating, the strength of their bond will be tested. Because, as Kayla soon realizes, her feelings for Riley are more than just friendly. Dating a girl is something that’s never crossed her mind before, but more than that, she can’t bring herself to hurt Evan. As tension between the two girls grows, Kayla is forced to grapple with the fact that she might be bisexual, in love with Riley, and about to break their friendship apart.

It's possible that all you need to know about my experience with this book is one thing - I read it in one sitting. Sure, I got up to stretch, to get lunch, but my Kindle came with me the whole time. It was a blissful 5 hours of just reading. As much as I love to read, there aren't many books I can do that with. Amazingly, my mind didn't wonder, I didn't get bored. And then afterwards I discovered that Siera Maley has written a bunch of other books! I don't know why I hadn't find her before. (I'm reading Taking Flight now, and loving that too!)

I loved these characters so much! I could honestly believe they were real people, they were so well developed and the writing is so clever. Maley is a master of telling the story in the 1st person, but mentioning small details that give hints of what other characters are thinking and feeling. Of course, that means I sometimes wanted to shake them, but that isn't always a bad thing. 

Although the story is simple, it's still unpredictable. I genuinely didn't know what was going to happen. Also refreshingly unusual, is that the Prom came so early in the book. Most stories with a significant event like that leave it until the end, everything is a build up to it, but in On The Outside, it's a very effective catalyst instead. 

I also appreciated the fact that the main characters aren't always morally great people. A lot of it is that you can't help who you fall in love with, but Kayla and Riley really struggle with the best way to do things right. It can be easy for writers to make their main characters thoroughly good people, but it isn't as interesting. 

So if you haven't read any Siera Maley yet, this seems like a great book to start! 


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