Monday, August 30, 2010

The Tension of Opposites

Last week I read THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, by Kristina McBride. Now, you guys know me--I'm mostly a fantasy gal, but Kristina's got me rethinking all that. Because this book is reallllly good.

Publication: Edgmont, May 2010
Hardcover, 277 pages

Premise: Tessa's life has been on hold for two years--ever since her best friend Noelle was abducted.

When Noelle escapes from the man who kidnapped her, Tessa can't wait to reconnect. Except nothing's the same anymore, not even Noelle's name.

My absolute favorite thing: I loved how real everything felt while reading. Tessa's reactions were authentic to her character and to the heartbreaking situation.

My other thoughts: So the title ties into a photography project that Tessa is working on, called (wait for it, wait for it...) the Tension of Opposites. That's cool all on its own--as someone who's trying get into photography, I read the details about it really closely. But I think the title weaves through more than just the project too, falling into plenty of other contrasts throughout the book. Tense moments mixed with humor; sad wrapped into happy; love and bitterness.

There's a pretty important backstory to THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. However, it's sprinkled throughout the length of the book, rather than fed to a reader in the beginning. I was thrown into tension from the get-go and everything continued that way for the next 276 pages!

The characters are developed really well--especially Tessa. There were moments while reading I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her! But those moments rang so true based on the girl I got to know between the lines. Just because I wanted her to make certain decisions, if she had she wouldn't have stayed inline with who she is, if that makes any sense. And I should note that I got frustrated with her at times only because I cared about her, which is just another testament to the quality of the character development.

Noelle, the girl who was abducted... Well, let's just say that as a reader, it was very hard not to imagine myself in her shoes, and it was a sad, scary place. She came back a hard, changed girl--but man did she ever have layers. On the surface she might have been hard to relate to, except for the fact that I was granted such insight to her, I understood everything she did and could empathize with why.

Of course I must mention Max. The boy who won me over while trying so hard to find his way into Tessa's life. His actions and motivations gave him a depth that can sometimes lack in love interests. I rooted for them as a couple--the real life romance was so believable, even when it became apparent that a happy ending wasn't a guarantee. (Hehehe, are you dying to know if it's a happy ending or not? You'll just have to read it...)

Overall, abduction is a sad and scary subject, but Kristina did a fabulous job of delving into something so sensitive without ever coming close to the line of sensationalism. She lets a reader learn a lot about what Noelle went through--while never allowing anything in just for the sake of shock value.

As a side note: I wanted more Cooper! Noelle's older brother, who I happen to think is pretty fabulous!

Ranking: 5 Stars

Read this!

OH and guess what!! I'm interviewing author Kristina McBride here tomorrow!! Make sure to stop by and see what she has to say =) You could even win a SIGNED copy of her book, so come back!

Check out the book trailer!


  1. Great review, Sara! You've certainly convinced me. :-)

  2. is this by chance, based on a true story? maybe the trailor is just that convincing...

    i lived just oustide of centerville, ohio - and it's true...it's one of those places that nothing bad ever happens. true family town.

  3. this looks interesting I'll put it on my TBR pile for break in between college classes.

  4. This book sounds really interesting.

  5. Okay, now this definitely sounds like a great book to read. And very different too!!

  6. Love the review! Thanks so much!

  7. I like the trailer. I like how it's the character talking about the story.
    Thanks for the heads up on another great read!

  8. I think it's time for me to go on a reading spree. I have so many good books on my list that I haven't read yet. This one will be added to it. Thanks!

  9. Sounds fantastic - thanks for the tip :)

  10. This sounds like an amazing book!! I would love to read this. :)

  11. I loved this book! And Kristina is AWESOME! I can't wait to read your interview! :-D

  12. I read it on my vacation and really enjoyed the book. Of course the photography angle sold me on it. ;)

  13. I love it when I get so involved in a book that I want to reach in and shake the MC! This is a great review--I'm definitely checking it out!


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)