Cammie leaves a report at school and leaves the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women to keep those she loves safe. She wakes up in an Alpine convent with short black hair, injuries, and a hole in her memory extending four months. No matter how hard she tries she can’t remember what happened during her summer vacation, and not everyone is convinced she should try, but the reasons she left are still true. Cammie and everyone she loves are in severe danger, and somewhere in those lost memories is the true reason why. Provided she can stay alive long enough to reclaim them.
Every now and then you stumble across one of those books that’s extremely hard to talk about because almost everything you say could be a spoiler. This is definitely one of those books. So, bear with me; there’s going to be a lot of dancing in this one.
This book is brilliant. Utterly, not-so-simply, fantastically brilliant. It goes all over the place chronologically speaking as Cammie tries to put together the fragments of her summer, but it doesn’t necessarily go in order. It’s not that this happened, then this happened. It’s that she was at this place, so why? What was she hoping to learn or achieve? Sometimes more frighteningly, what did she learn or achieve? Layered through everything is Cammie’s panic at simply not knowing. Even when she can respect her mother’s warning that the memories might be too terrible for her to hold, there’s something terrifying about simply not knowing, especially as she continues to show skills she shouldn’t know. Like a loose tooth you can’t help but play with, Cammie can’t leave those missing months alone.
Cammie has a hard time adjusting, but so do her friends. They’ve been worried sick for four months, and now that she’s back, it’s hard not to be a little resentful. It strains a few things, glosses over a few others, to make things more difficult at a time when Cammie really needs all the help and support she can get. Their reactions are perfect. Hard, but perfect, as is the gradual resolution towards an even state.
And of course there’s Zach. Zach in a towel, as a matter of fact. Well, there’s Zach in regular clothing too, but the timing of the towel is hysterical. In some ways, though perhaps this is horrible to say, Zach is Cammie’s guide to how things can get worse. Her dad is missing and presumed dead? Let’s talk about his mom. Oh no, her mom forgot their Sunday dinner? His only real parent figure came off the wrong end of a bomb at the beginning of summer. No matter how bad things get for Cammie, she has only to look at Zach to know that things could still be worse. But for Zach, in a lot of ways, Cammie is his guide to how things can get better. Even when the bad things happen, he sees the support from her friends and family, the teammwork that goes into looking for a solution, and knows that things will improve. They may not be perfect, but they’ll improve. And they’re both grateful for what the other is. Even when things are strained between them, they’re a pair.
And here’s where the dancing goes crazy because there’s so much I love, right down to the details, and I can’t talk about it without spoiling things. But it’s there. The way everything pieces together, the way things continue to layer through from previous books, the way characters continually surprise us. Even when things are new and astonishing, they’re based on things we’ve already seen, things that make sense as soon we get this new shred of information. And we don’t get all the information- even when there are questions that badly need answers, there’s the blatant acknowledgment that we live in a world where we don’t always get answers. Doesn’t mean we stop looking, but we may never find them. And there is SO MUCH to look forward to in GG6.
This book was so absorbing, so entirely immersive, that when I was reading it on break at work, one of the other girls had to poke me and tell me the microwave was done with my meal. By the time I get a break at work I’m generally starving, as I was that day, and the microwave being done is like the start of the races. Didn’t even notice it. I actually had to set the alarm on my phone to make sure I wouldn’t be late clocking back in. Any book that sucks me in that completely is amazing.
If you’ve read the other four books in the series, race out and buy/borrow this boook NOW. If you haven’t read the other four books in the series?
What are you waiting for?! Go do it!
Until next time~