Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Title: The Tension of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Pages: 288
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: May 25, 2010

It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.
The kidnapping of a best friend isn't easy. Just ask Tessa. When Noelle is kidnapped, she is grief-stricken and uses her camera as a shield from people. But when Noelle comes back, Tessa sparks with hope that everything will be back to normal. She's wrong. Noelle, numb and carefree, is a different person to Tessa than what she was two years ago. As they struggle to delicately find common ground, hearts are broken, relationships are mended, and trust will ultimately find its way back.

The Tension of Opposites is a raw, powerful, and emotional read that explores friendship, love, and grief, as well as divulges into 'forbidden', hard-to-grasp concepts such as the Stockholm Syndrome, in this case, with Noelle. Tessa's relationship with Noelle is awkward and uncomfortable at first, but gradually forms into a strong, supportive bond that helps both Noelle and Tessa cope with the kidnapping. In The Tension of Opposites, love is evident in many relationships; Tessa's and Max's, Noelle's and Tessa's, and their families that support them through this ordeal.

When Noelle is finally back with her family, her presence causes many rumors and evokes many questions within the community. In her journal, and when she is interviewed, her two years in captivity is even more scrutinized. Her humiliation and 'relationship' with her captor is ridiculed harshly by many. Noelle's change in character when she comes back manifests itself in the way she treats Tessa and the way that she throws herself to guys with little self respect. All of this is painfully realistic and palpable in the environment that McBride has created. Since The Tension of Opposites is from Tessa's point of view, readers will empathize with Tessa and really feel frustrated and curious with wanting to find out the real mystery of what happened to Noelle. The reader will be given broken details about Noelle as Tessa strives to dig deeper and try to protect Noelle as well.

Tessa is intensely affected by Noelle's kidnapping and is probed closely by her classmates after the incident. She becomes a lifeless shell when Noelle disappears and hides behind the lens of her camera. Her camera is a shield for her as she sees her surroundings through different eyes. When Noelle comes back, she appoints herself as Noelle's protector and takes Noelle's responsibilities upon herself. She deals with her grief in a way that keeps her from trusting others and opening herself up. At first, she despises Max with all her heart, but like most people, she is helpless against her own emotions and the inner battles raging within her.

Max's character is seemingly simple as Tessa's love interest, but underlying complexities and morals are tangible as you delve deeper into his character. On the outside, his playful, boyish personality is visible, but underneath is a deeper, unflinching, mature teenager that fights for what he wants. His struggles with Tessa show the reader a growing strain in their relationship as he fights to save that last common thread.

The exposition of The Tension of Opposites is detailed and absorbing. McBride writes fluently and fascinates readers with the real meaning of 'the tension of opposites'. The mystery, along with the significance of photography is greatly portrayed in this psychologically and emotionally persisting novel. Many of the characters are calloused and imperfect but the connections they make are completely worth it. (A+)

The Bottom Line: A completely amazing debut that captures so much raw turmoil and provokes real, powerful emotions in readers.

---Field Report---
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 4/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 4/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 98/100 (A+)

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58 comments:

vorvolaka-reads June 15, 2010 at 6:28 PM  

I have this on my wishlist. I'm so looking forward to reading it and I'm glad that it's got a good rating!

Ali

Adventures in Children's Publishing June 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM  

I'm thrilled to get a recommendation you are very enthusiastic about. This is now added to my list!

Thanks :)
Marissa

Book Crazy Jenn June 15, 2010 at 7:44 PM  

Reggie, can I just tell you how much I love your reviews? OMG wonderful, I sooo agree with EVERYTHING you said!!!

Mary not so Contrary June 15, 2010 at 9:55 PM  

Great review Reggie!!! This is a must read for me. Totally different from everything out there right now. It almost got a perfect score too which makes me want to read it more!!

Meredith June 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

Wow--I definitely have to read this book now! I've been looking for a compelling read, and this sounds like one of those books that stays with you. Thanks :)

Jami June 15, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

I have been wanting to read this one since I first saw the book trailer. Very insightful review! :)

Cari June 15, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

The story sounds very emotional and powerful and your review captured that. I will be adding this to my to read list. Thanks!

Sarah June 15, 2010 at 10:51 PM  

This sounds amazing! Thanks for the review! :)

Lale June 16, 2010 at 2:53 AM  

I absolutely love books that delve into things that are socially unacceptable- as you mentioned with Stockholm syndrome- so this is going on my list. :)

Sandy June 16, 2010 at 3:13 AM  

Ever since I heard about the book and saw the gorgeous cover I've wanted to read it. Fantastic review!

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

This does sound like a compelling story. I love the way you described it, especially in the last paragraph.

http://laughingstars.net

Natalie June 16, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

I actually think I will recommend this to my madre! It really sounds like a book she would love... thanks for the review and details.

**CEP**

Sara June 16, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

Wow this sounds really amazing! It seems like it would be hard to read, but those are usually the best. Thanks for this super wonderful review (:

Btw here from the CEP :D

Ladytink_534 June 17, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

I've heard good things about this one but I haven't tried it yet. I'm intrigued that it tackles serious subjects though.

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) June 17, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

Is it really that good? I guess I will have to pick it up next time I go shopping.

The Book Girl June 18, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

This book sounds amazing... I had doubts about reading it because it didn't sound like something I'd typically enjoy, but those doubts are gone. Thanks!

Ashley June 18, 2010 at 12:37 AM  

You made me want to read this sooo much more. I can't wait to get a copy. Awesome review!

Darlyn June 18, 2010 at 12:46 AM  

I'm definitely buying this.Sounds pretty good ;p

Cindy June 18, 2010 at 12:52 AM  

Wow! This books sounds amazing!! I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Mrs. DeRaps June 18, 2010 at 1:09 AM  

I don't know exactly why, but I am afraid to read books where kidnapping is involved. I think that this one, told from the perspective of a friend and not the victim, could be something I could handle.

Thanks for the review!

Melissa June 18, 2010 at 1:13 AM  

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, but your review convinced me. :)

Mel (He Followed Me Home) June 18, 2010 at 1:57 AM  

I too loved how photography was weaved into the story.I had heard great thing about this book & so had to read it too. For those that haven't read it yet, beleive the hype!

Jacqueline C. June 18, 2010 at 2:43 AM  

Great review! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it since I've really been looking forward to reading it. I'll have to make sure to pick it up soon.

cristal94 June 18, 2010 at 3:57 AM  

Great review! I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I really need to read it!

Adriana June 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

I've heard some great things about this book. Your review makes it sound like something I would really enjoy. I'll definitely have to check this one out next time.

Jeff & Nicole June 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

Wow..this sounds like a difficult but worth it read. Can't wait. Thanks.

The Itzel Library June 18, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

I like this review. I not knew this book, now I have this on my wishlist.
I need to read it!
Greetings
~Yelania~

Ana C. Nunes June 18, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

I really want to read this book soon. It just sounds great.

Alice June 18, 2010 at 8:22 PM  

Glad to know what you thought of it! I'm really looking forward to reading this one, it sounds amazing and it's been getting awesome reviews all around the internet! :)

Jenny N. June 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

I just bought a copy of this book and can't wait to finally read it.

Spav June 21, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

I've been meaning to buy this book, and after reading your review, I can't wait to get it!

Grace June 21, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

Love the premise and plot of the story as there aren't many solid reads that take your breath away as with this. Afterall one can't really deal or forget a loss or kidnapping situation easily. I'm probably gonna check this one out.

Chic Fit Geek June 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

I'm set up to read this one for a book club this month. I've been putting it off for a while, but your review has bumped it up to my next read.
I wasn't sure if the subject would be up my alley.

Tina June 22, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

I've had my eye on this one. You gave it such a good review that it's now added to my TBR list.

Ash June 22, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

This book sounds great! I've been hearing about it a lot lately, and it just sounds wonderful- very much like something that I would love to read!

Arena @ {thenerdswife} June 23, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

Wow, this sounds *fantastic*! Can't wait to pick it up! :)

Jessy June 23, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

I just bought Tension of Opposites the other day. I haven't had the chance to pick it up yet, but I can't wait to start it now.

Must Love Books June 24, 2010 at 3:10 AM  

Ohhh this sounds really good! I love intense books.

tere1494 June 24, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

I have read a lot about this book it seems pretty good specially with your review I will try to read it THANKS!!!

EVA SB June 24, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

This has such a strong premiss so it is good to see that the story telling lives up to the expectation.
One for my TBR list.

angelatarantula June 25, 2010 at 1:14 AM  

awesome interview!! This book sounds soo good. I really want to read itt

Lisa (starmetal_oak) June 26, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

Thanks for reviewing this! It looks interesting.

Arielle July 1, 2010 at 1:32 AM  

This sounds like a great book, something I would definitely like! As always a fantastic review Reggie :-)

chelleyreads July 1, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

i love raw, powerful reads and this one sounds like my kind of book! thanks for the great review :D

Nadinax July 2, 2010 at 3:07 AM  

I'm so very anxious to read this book, and your review just made me even more excited for it. Great review! :D

Baggins July 3, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

Great review, thanks - I'm adding this one to my wishlist! This is the first I've read about it, and it sounds fantastic. Looking forward to reading it!

strange_candy_reviews July 3, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

What a great sounding book. Your review was awesome. I want to read this book now. Thanks.

Rosey July 6, 2010 at 4:12 AM  

Adding this one to my TBR pile! Sounds really good!! :)

(Bookish)InABox July 6, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

I both want to read this book and don't want to read this book. It sounds intriguing but incredibly intense.

Book Monster July 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM  

This book definitely looks like a good read, I've been thinking about reading it but still unsure. Great review of it XD

Evgenia July 9, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

I'm so excited about this book! Already ordered it in local shop.

Nastassia July 10, 2010 at 5:55 AM  

This books very interesting , and as another commenter said intense , I would love to read it.

Nastassia July 10, 2010 at 6:35 AM  

This book sounds interesting , will be adding it to my TBR list .

Laurie Lamb July 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

After reading your review, I want to read this book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

KM July 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

Wow. Sounds like a great book, and you definitely gave it a good review! Sounds good!

oO Mariana Oo July 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

It looks really good, I want to read it soon, I hope. Great Review!

msdarcy July 13, 2010 at 4:46 AM  

Wow. This wasn't even a book I was interested in reading before. Great review- I will have to check it out for myself!

Dakota July 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

Great review! Seen this around on many blogs with positive reviews. Definitely going to give it a go!

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