They say it ‘s darkest just before dawn
by Alicia K. Leppert
Pub. Date: April 10, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Olivia Tate has not had an easy life, and it had taken a toll on her. After losing her mother, she has holed herself up in a tiny, cold apartment, and has been making herself go through the motions of life. However, one night, she has decided that she cannot take her life as it is anymore. She decides to take a bottle of pills in an attempt to end it all.
Jude West is a mysterious guy who is in the right place at the right time and saves Olivia’s life. Although Olivia is somewhat grateful that he did show up when he did, the circumstances have left many questions unanswered.
As their relationship grows into more than friendship, they must learn each other’s pasts and secrets, before they both make decisions they could regret. However, Jude seems to know everything of Olivia, but gives little in return to share his life with her, leaving Olivia feeling that the relationship is one-sided. It becomes apparent that Jude has walls that he is not ready to break down in order to let Olivia into his life completely. However, his secrecy may be entirely to protect Olivia’s life.
The great thing about Olivia is that, although she is a darker and more intense protagonist than normally portrayed in YA fiction, it serves to make her a strong character. She is very aware that she could easily put Jude into a role of ‘protector,’ and goes to great lengths to make sure she is in the relationship for the right reasons. Olivia is not going to put herself in a position where she is reliant upon a guy, and the fact that she is aware of that is great to see in YA fiction today.
The truth about Jude is pretty obvious from the beginning, and the suspense building up to the reveal does seem a bit forced and anti-climactic. Somehow, the truth seems to be the only sensible explanation to Olivia, and she does not really seem surprised when her suspicions are confirmed. With such an intense first half of the book, which really set the dark tone and explained Olivia’s reasoning, it seemed to be rushed in the second half.
Emerald City is a good read that will keep the reader flipping the pages to make sure it all ends well. There are times when the characters are not quite believable, but there are an equal amount of times they seem so real and complex that one will become quite attached. What the book may lack in the tempo of the storyline, it makes up for by creating a dark mood that will draw you in.
The Blog Tour for Emerald City is being hosted by Cedar Fort Publishing. Check out the entire blog tour calendar.
This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Alicia K. Leppert, go to her website here.