I recently read a few self-published books and they were mostly poorly-written, poorly-formatted, and just generally unappealing. And I don't want to sound prejudiced or anything, but some of them really have issues (mainly formatting and simple spelling/grammar mistakes) that need to be fixed.
Here was not one of those books. It was really great, a wonderful read, and I'm so glad I picked it up. Everything was really professionally done, so I could fully enjoy the plot and story as I would normally do.
The story opens with the main character completely broken and shattered. Her family is wary of her and keeps their distance, and she knows that everything will never be the same again. I was incredibly sympathetic of Julia throughout the story, and as she began to heal, I did get quite angry at her family, especially her dad, for giving up on her. I thought she was a well-developed character with faults, sure, but she was quite relatable (I did think about how I would've reacted if one of my friends died, and her behaviour would've been very understandable). I did think that the adults should've reacted more appropriately, been more kind, and given her more time.
There was a love triangle in this book which I was rather wary of, and still am. I think it was a little unnecessary and the author could've elaborated on more things such as the 'other side' (I will not post spoilers, my friends!), but then again, I am a little biased against love triangles and I'm sure that other people will enjoy it.
The 'other side' in the book was also extremely interesting, and while I was absolutely fascinated. I'm not sure I could follow along fully since I did get rather confused at times, possibly due to the info-dumping and I think it's very important that authors of paranormal and dystopian stories ensure that the readers can follow along, even if it means having to spend more time on the world building and explanations.
I really enjoyed the author's writing style. It was simple but elegant and really sucked me into the story. And even though I did read different parts of this book separately which made the whole thing a little disjointed in my mind, the story is still fresh in my mind over a month later.