Wendy reviews ‘Neon Darkness’ by Skot Harris. published June 15,2018, 202 pages.
In 1994, high school seniors Oliver and Grant defied the odds and fell in love. But after a shocking murder shattered their sleepy small town, Grant disappeared without a trace. Now, ten years later, Oliver attends their class reunion, desperate to see him again. But Oliver soon discovers the past brings more than happy memories… It brings secrets too.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first book I’ve read by this author but it won’t be the last! It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised by the gentle way that this book evolved into the mystery/thriller that it is. Let me qualify that statement because the story itself isn’t gentle even if it has some gentle moments, it was the way the author led me through the story without even realizing that I was certainly being guided.
The characters are well rounded and realistic. Oliver is a character that you instantly fall in love with and want only good things to happen for. He’s sweet and maybe a bit naive. He’s not perfect but that just makes him all that much more likable.
Grant is also likable, in the way he loves Oliver, in the way he is his own person and in the way he doesn’t conform to peer pressure. This character will surprise you. I leave it at that. He’s the proverbial bad-boy. He’s cool and hot and doesn’t take crap from anyone… except his abusive, alcoholic father. Annnnd, he has secrets. I’m still not sure how to put into words what I feel about Grant.
The story is mostly a slow build of two high school boys learning each other, falling in love and Char, Oliver’s best friend. It has so many feels! The author is able to convey all of those high school, teen hormones and angst with astounding clarity. I wasn’t expecting the ending… At. All. I don’t have to have a HEA or even a HFN to make it a good story, but what made this book a 9/10 Pots of Gold for me instead of a 10/10 is this, I don’t like not knowing what happens to the characters at the end of the book. I know it was done that way on purpose and I know that I’m supposed to use my imagination to fill in the blanks and I know that this is a brilliantly written book, but for me, personally, I like an ending. I like it all sewed up into a neat little package and while most questions are answered, it left me with more. I’m not sure if it’s a cliffhanger so there may be more to the ending than I’m aware of. I will say that this is a story that will stay with you for a long time.
9/10 Pots of Gold or 90% recommended