Review: Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche

 Find it online:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Find it online: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

I purchased this book on a whim. I had only barely read the summary. So I went in completely blind with low expectations. I am surprised that I liked it. First in foremost, this book was extremely dark. It deals with heavy subject matter such as alcoholism and schizophrenia.

It was almost hard to read at times, because I felt like I was on the verge of tears and the tension was almost overwhelming. After I would finish a chapter, I felt like I needed to go watch a silly YouTube video to lift my spirits. The writing really showcased the characters’ unhappiness, and transports the readers into a dark place. It did a great job of illustrating everything that it encompasses.

One major problem I had with the dialogue as a whole was that it was lacking. It felt a little artificial, which decreased the emotional value of it a little bit. When characters were speaking, their voice was not as powerful as it was in the internal monologue.  

Characters

The premise of this book is that Jack and Tessa both engage in risky behavior which has sort of a ripple effect on those closest to them. They both have not so pleasant lives. Jack is lying about his mother’s health and doing everything he can to keep it a secret. And Tessa is feeling the pressure from her Grandma to succeed and her alcoholic step-father’s disapproval.

Both characters are not your average likeable main characters. Both characters were flawed, and I think that stood out to me the most.

There are times when I really did not care for their choices or them. For instance, I was immediately conflicted about my feelings toward Tessa in the beginning. Since it was the first page, I didn’t really know her, so her cheating instantly rubbed me the wrong way. However, as I begin to read, I started to understand her more. Granted, I still do not agree with her choice. But she is human and humans make mistakes. And I realize that she was at an extremely difficult time in her life.

No offense, but Jack was a little annoying at times. His pranks did not bother me. His constant habit of saying something that causes the other person to question it, and him admitting that the first thing he said was a joke. There were too many times where this happened.

I liked the buildup of the relationship. I think Jack and Tessa really balanced each other out and brought out the best in each other.

Final Thoughts

Ripple is a heartbreaking tale of two flawed teens who are doing the best they can and manage to fall into self-destructive behavior. The storytelling is very dark; however, it’s worth a read.