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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Tension of Opposites

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Source: ARC from Egmont

Grade: 4 stars out of 5

It’s been 2 years since Noelle has been kidnapped and since then Tessa has cut herself from what she deemed the normal life: a social life. But now Noelle’s back and wants to be called Elle. Has anything else changed aside from her name? And now Tessa wonders where her best friend has gone and whatever happened to her while dealing with this constant beating of her heart whenever Max, the new kid in school that happens to be in her life photography class, is around.

I really did enjoy this novel don’t get me wrong, but I think it missed the mark when dealing with emotional trauma of Noelle’s kidnapping. I expected something gritty, chaotic, and painful but it felt more of a self-identity novel.

Looking at it from a different angle, Kristina McBride did create something different. She created this confinement for Noelle after her kidnapping. A scenario where even after she finally escaped she’s still trapped in this invisible cage where everyone just watches her: fragile, Stockholm Syndrome, drug-addict, victim?—words that constantly float around her. And Elle wants out. She may not be the most likeable character but she’s fire and passion and you just cannot help but look and stare. Every so often McBride lets the reader peek into the emotional chaos that I was looking for in Elle in the journal she keeps. I found that voice addicting, raw, and real that I needed more. Preferred more actually.

But the majority of the growth is through Tessa. Tessa is so used to constantly thinking about Noelle that once Elle comes back, it’s been hard to live her own life again. Her fire is smaller than Elle’s but just as intense when it comes to Max and it comes through the writing. The relationship the two share is endearing and heartwarming and feels like stomach with butterflies. It’s tender without becoming too sweet and cheesy; it creates an involuntary grin on the reader’s face.

Through photography, Tessa begins to let herself go. She begins to open herself. And maybe the friendship she had with Noelle has ended, but there is a new friendship between her and Elle that can bloom. Kristina McBride does a splendid job with this reader paying closer attention to her than ever.

And okay, this is my first time watching the book trailer for The Tension of Opposites, but it is kick-butt! That synopsis tramps my synopsis to the ground. The book releases next week and don't wait until later to get it!

I would recommend this novel for people who liked:
It is not the same thing but there are similar (good) elements.


  1. I just cant wait to read this book, so many awesome things have been said about it, wonderful review!

  2. I love the trailer too & I can't wait to read this one. :D

  3. I tweeted!

    Thanks for linking up-

  4. The trailer is absolutely stunning--it gives me chills!

  5. Egmont sent me a copy yesterday and I'm so excited to read this!!!!