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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Title: The Tension of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Release Date: May 25th, 2010
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Length: 288 pages
Format: ARC


Up / Down
Hot / Cold
Free / Noelle

It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.


First off, let me say that I hold high expectations for a book. I’m picky, so to actually pick a book up, I expect to love it. Most don’t live up to these somewhat ridiculous high standards.

Not only did the Tension of Opposites live up to those expectations, but exceeded them.

Kristina McBride made it seem seamless the way she wriggled herself into the mind of a girl, Tessa, whose best friend Noelle was kidnapped and then returned two years later. She describes Tessa’s fear of strangers that has budded since the kidnapping as though it were her own, which contributed to the impressive creep factor.

It was refreshing to have Tessa ease into a relationship, not instantly fall in love with the love interest because he’s attractive. The best way to describe this is in Tessa’s own words:

“I tried to keep from noticing how beautiful he was because thoughts like those can make you vulnerable, leave you open for attack. Having a squared jaw, smooth skin, and full lips certainly didn’t make him safe.”

My one complaint was Noelle, Tessa’s best friend and the girl who had been kidnapped. I don’t think her fear after the incident was captured as well as Tessa’s. I know she was trying to be portrayed as tough, strong, and guarded but some of her actions threw me off. Like after she escaped and returned to her family, she would sneak out in the middle of the night. By herself. Her explanation for this was because everyone in her house was suffocating her, which was true, but I can’t see her having the bravery to sneak out after all she went through for two years.

That really was my only problem with this book. The rest was beautifully written, and for the most part, the characters were 100% believable. Opposites played an important part in the plot, and Kristina McBride managed to balance the opposites of dark and light. There was enough darkness to make me want to run to bed and have my parents check my closet for monsters, but enough light to give me hope for victims of a traumatizing event.

Grade: A-


Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Wow, what a great review! I really want to read this book!

Bee said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I will be watching out for this one :))

Tahereh said...

this is really great. i love your reviews.

thanks!! :D

Nomes said...

Argh! I really need to read this. the premise sounds fantastic and your review has totally won me over.

Thanks :)

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