Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.
I really enjoyed this book and was very invested in Colt's story. His voice, his guilt, and his grief all feel very real.
He and Julia are both complex characters. Sometimes I felt that they would have been perfect for each other, if circumstances had been different, and sometimes that they'd never have worked. The times we see them together were among my favourites in the novel. Their attraction is electric, but because we only see them through Cole's memories or Julia's diary entries, there is also, always, a sadness there.
The writing is low key and straightforward but the tension Jennifer Hubbard creates is brilliant. Not just between Colt and everyone he is hiding his secret from, but between Julia's world on Black Mountain and Colt's on the flat and between other characters (who I won't name because it will spoil things)
I'm very much looking forward to Jennifer Hubbard's next novel.