by Anne Richmond Wakefield
YA Suspense / Thriller
Seventeen-year-old Bright runs to stay alive. Her dad left before she was born, her mom died of cancer, and she’s spent years trying to numb her pain. She’s on the road to recovery when she decides to run an ultra-relay race in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It doesn’t hurt that Levi, gorgeous and nineteen, is on her team.
One terrible decision during the race changes everything. Soon, Bright must call upon strength she’s not sure she has and decide she is worth fighting for. To survive the wilds of the Blue Ridge, she’ll have to rely on the one person she's spent her entire life battling: herself.
Bright has never gotten over her father's disappearance and her mother's death through cancer, despite the care and security she received from her uncle. Her pain runs deep and the best way for her to fight it is to run. She's a very talented runner and likes nothing more than to pound marathons. When she convinces her uncle to allow her to enter a daring race across the desert with a dedicated team, it's like a dream come true. Unfortunately, her dream mutates into a horrific nightmare.
This is a amazing psycho-thriller for teens. Bright has tons of insecurities, and many readers will easily relate to her and understand her. She holds her emotions deeper than is healthy and has been to more than her share of therapy. Still, she's got guts and determination and is pretty normal in most aspects for a girl her age when looking past her emotional state. Her desire to run is inspirational, and she is a caring person.
The thrilling scenes build slowly and are well constructed. While some moments are almost predictable, it's in that deliciously creepy way...the kind that hints in the gut just like a thriller should do. Others are unexpected and add the right amount of surprise. It's dark, digs deep and harsh as well as brutal. It's not for sensitive readers and does hit a nerve. But this is exactly what it should do.
The only thing which pulled me out of the story were some hiccups in the logic behind several details. Still, it was, in general, a solid read fans of thrills and psycho-chills are sure to enjoy.