This is without a doubt the BEST young adult novel ever written. And THE BEST FIRST KISS in the history of first kisses. This book is so good you don’t even know its a Young Adult novel, set in high school, nor are you reminded its about high school students stuck in the hell hole of bitchiness and pressures of their peers. No, this story is much bigger than that. Dark and intense.
Sky is a 17 yr old home schooled high schooler whose life has been sheltered right to her eyeballs; no cellphone, no TV, no internet etc. Her adoptive mother is not big on the technology. To the outside world she is somewhat of a loose goose, promiscuous by association with a ballsy attitude that hides whatever is going on within her. But behind the closed doors of her bedroom walls when only the window is open, she is strong yet damaged, cool but unseasoned and she has recollections of a past that would make you shudder. I love her. She’s the atypical high school girl on the cusp looking in but you get a sense she is wise beyond her years even when she doesn’t show it, even in her most naive moments. She doesn’t get easily embarrassed, you know those awkward high school moments with the Queen Bees, they just roll off her back.
And then there’s Holder, I call him Holder with the smoulder. He reads like a guy with the perfect smoulder. He has a dark side but my God he is so perfect. Perfectly ruffled, perfectly stirring, perfectly smooth and perfectly disturbing. He’s the clichéd brooding high school hottie with secrets, a troubled past and scores to settle. He makes your head swoon in a way that makes you easily forget he is a high school student.
Holder is trouble for Sky, he is the key to unlocking her past and helping her move on, only she doesn’t know it yet. A chance meeting at a supermarket intertwines their paths and these two become an item. Holder knows things, Sky knows them too but she has to beat past the walls obstructing her clarity to come to terms with what happened to her when she was a child. Holder holds the key to that clarity.
We are let into moments of Sky’s past and slowly we begin to piece together the details to make sense of her present. And just when we think we know, BOOM…everything unravels and leaves us in a head-spin.
This is high school romance at its finest and it rubbishes that whole pathetic twilight nonsense completely. High School is complicated, there are many layers to navigate but Hopeless goes beyond the petty walls of high school and deals with some pretty gritty stuff. The romance between Sky and Holder is sweet to behold, perfectly blossoming with all the awkward moments perfectly, so perfectly, played out. The master piece is the story itself which is perfectly played out by flawlessly developed characters you’ll love. Sky makes Bella Swan look weak and Holder makes Edward look like a chomp…that’s my call but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me.
And that first kiss, PERFECT. BEAUTIFUL. OH MY GOD!!