What – not historical fiction? I thought I’d mix it up a little and do a YA review. I met the author Natalie D. Richards at a Columbus-area writers’ meeting and after hearing her speak, I had to pick up a copy of “Six Months Later”.
Chloe Spinnaker is an indifferent high schooler. With suffering grades, she cannot get motivated, spending the spring of her junior year pining for the most popular jock in school rather than worrying about SAT scores, her GPA, or paying attention in class. Despite the encouragement and prodding voiced by her mother and her best friend Maggie, Chloe remains disengaged with life. Then one day in study hall, she decides to take a nap rather than hit the books, and when she wakes up, everything has changed.
Chloe wakes up to snow falling outside. It is her senior year and suddenly, she is now a member of the in-crowd. She’s dating “Mr. Perfect” – the Boy Scout, perfect student, super jock of her fantasies. She has near-perfect SAT scores and is being courted by Ivy League colleges. Her parents are ecstatic. There’s only one problem – she has lost Maggie’s friendship, who now refuses to speak to her. Chloe has no memories of the past six months, so what happened? How could her life have changed so much and how could she remember none of it? Instead of being happy, Chloe realizes that Mr. Perfect may not be all he’s cracked up to be, and losing your best friend hurts more than anything else. She starts to dig to find out what happened, how she lost her memories and what prompted this miraculous change. But what she finds are deleted computer files, a group with secret motives, a manipulative psychologist, and a conspiracy that people will kill to keep under wraps.
Wickedly sarcastic, Richards embodies the inner thoughts of a teenager. Her prose is funny, insightful, and very fast-paced. The story takes you on a wild ride as Chloe struggles to uncover the secrets people try to keep from her – some because they are guilty of egregious acts and others because they want Chloe to remain the popular, smart person she is now rather than the unmotivated slacker of the past. Hold on for unexpected twists and turns as Chloe tries to reclaim her life.
A breakneck thriller that keeps you on your toes – if you have a teenager in your family, in a friend’s family, or in your neighborhood, then get them a copy. This book will leave you breathless and anything but disappointed!