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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride


Title: The Tension of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: 5.25.10
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Kidnapping, Friendship, Photography, Love, Relationships
Pages: 288
Description (from GoodReads):
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 Tension of Opposites is one of those novels that pulls you in from the first lines and refuses to let you go until you've read every last word. Devour is almost too tame a word to describe how quickly I read this novel... inhale might be a better fit. It's always a magical experience when a reader finds an author whose writing style fits perfectly with his or her preferences - and I'm happy to say that I experienced that magic with Tension.


I feel that I should mention that the the description of Tension only conveys the darker elements of the plot, despite the fact that there is plenty of lighter material in the novel as well. Not only are both light and dark elements present, they are perfectly balanced. With a novel that addresses such a heavy topic, attempts at lighter material may be awkward and disrupt the flow of the novel, but this isn't so with Tension: it plunged into the inky dark depths of emotion and managed an amazing love story. The fact that the story is told from the point-of-view of the victim's best friend offered a unique perspective and, I think, ultimately allowed McBride to write such a balanced story. I would have been frustrated if the entire story was dark, since Tessa is the narrator and I wanted her to move past the traumatizing event and find happiness, despite the horrors that Noelle suffered. It will never be something that she will forget, but she can't postpone her life indefinitely, no matter how much she loves Tessa. In ways, I thought the fact that Noelle lost so many things provided even more reasons that Tessa shouldn't. Noelle had those things taken... Tessa shouldn never just give them up.


Tessa and Noelle's relationship was painful and heartbreaking. I felt for Tessa... She waited so long to regain her best friend, guilty and afraid to live her own life after Noelle's had been cruelly shattered. When Noelle returns home, Tessa knows that things won't be the same, but nothing can prepare her for the new Noelle... Elle, who doesn't seem to have even a glimmer of Noelle left in her. At the same time, I understand why Noelle had to adopt this new persona: Noelle, Tessa's best friend, is dead. I think McBride accurately conveyed Tessa's POV, which is different than most other YA novels dealing with the same topic, as they usually told from the victim's POV.


One of the brightest elements of the novel is the romance between Tessa and Max, the boy who finds a way past Tessa's carefully constucted walls and into her heart. Max and Tessa's relationship is one of my absolute favorites... and I read a lot of good love stories. I think the realistic quality of their story is what really won me over... I believed in their story. That and the fact that there is the definite possiblity that it might not work out between them and I desperately believed that they should be together! Tessa's ready to do anything to help Noelle, including giving up her own happiness... and Max.


Grade: A+


Cover Notes:
When I first saw the cover I wasn't really a fan, but after reading the novel I think it's a peferct fit!


Trailer: This is definitely the my all-time favorite book trailer. It captures the emotion of the novel (and succeeded in making me cry)!



Watch it on YouTube.


Check out my INTERVIEW with Kristina and go HERE for a chance to win a signed copy of the novel and fun swag!

56 comments:

  1. compelling review! you totally sold me the book

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  2. ^ What Erika said! ^

    Book sounds GREAT, can't wait to read it! (Although, well, I am waiting, since can't afford the hardback. Maybe if it goes on special or I get a job or it comes out in paperback.... *sigh*)

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  3. If I remember correctly, you wrote a mini-review for this a few months ago. You totally won me over back then, so when I clicked on this review I didn't think you could make me want it any more. WRONG! This sounds fantastic!! I like that it's told from the best friends perspective, it's definitely an interesting angle and such an awful thing for anyone to have to go through. I kind of need this, like NOW!

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  4. I ordered this yesterday, because of all the amazing reviews I'd read. Thanks for adding to it! :)

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  5. Great review! We're looking forward to going out and picking it up.

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  6. This one looks so good. I'm glad to see that you liked it so much! It's at the top of my wish list. :)

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  7. I've read some great reviews about this book, and I'm really looking forward to read it!

    Thanks for the review, it sounds amazing!

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  8. Wow, great trailer! Can't wait to read it.

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  9. Great review! I've heard some great things about this book and I am looking forward to reading it!

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  10. Your review has convinced me to put this on my TBR list. Thank you!

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  11. Great review. It only makes me want to read this even more now.

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  12. I felt the same way about the cover, but now you've gotten me all excited to read this one!

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  13. I've been waiting for this one for a while :D! Great review! Can't wait to read it :DDDD!

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  14. I freaking LOVE the trailer and gee thanks for making me want to read it more than I already do XD

    Erica, you have the worst habit of doing this to me, just so you know :P

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  15. This is one of those books I have been wanting to read for a while, ever since I read the first synopsis - and then once the book trailer came out, well WOW! Now with your review, as well as several other's out there...I am 100% sold...I can't wait!!!

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  16. Can't wait to read Tension of Opposites. I have read nothing but near perfect reviews. Great topic Kristina chose to write about. I don't think there are many YA books out right now that talk about kidnapping.

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  17. I have a best bud named Noelle. ;D

    You've totally sold me on this book! I love the concept of reading from a POV besides the victim's!

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  18. I really liked your review!I would love to read this book!

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  19. I have been so anxious to get my hands on this book. Awesome Review...

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  20. Sounds really scary, but swell! :P

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  21. It sounds like you really liked this book. I don't remember too many stories from the best friend's perspective after violence has occured. I can't wait to read it.
    debbie

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  22. Ooh fabulous and detailed review. I love books that just pull you into the book in the beginning and are hard to put down!

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  23. I so need to read this now. Looks awesome!!! :-D

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  24. Awesome review. Can't wait to read.


    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  25. I saw the trailer for this book previously, and it gives the highlights of the novel's premise.

    I'm glad that you can recommend the novel so highly!

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  26. Forgot to leave my email address:
    melissa [at] yabookshelf [dot] com

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  27. Sound like a great read! I love the cover. If I saw this in a book store I would have picked it up. thanks for the review!

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

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  28. An A+ rating and described as "inhaled" - hmm, definitely sounds like one to check out!

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  29. I didn't realize that the novel had a lighter side too. That makes it much more appealing. Thanks for the review!

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  30. I've been waiting to read this since I heard about it. Now I'm even more excited about it!

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  31. I wasnt too sure about this one but after seeing many great reviews on it and the awesome trailer, now I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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  32. Can't resist a love story, and this one sounds very different and intriguing!

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  33. Wow, this book sounds fantastic! There seems to be so many facets to it that makes it wonderful. Thanks for such a positive review! :)

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  34. I actually really like the cover. I like that the eyes seem to have a hint of colour even though the top picture is black and white.

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  35. Thanks for the review! I am always looking for new authors and books to read. I love how you stated that this book was so good you devoured it. I love reading books like that!

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  36. I really want to read this! I'll admit I'm a little dubious about the cover before reading it, but I've been hearing lots of great things and the book trailer makes it look amazing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  37. Sounds awesome! Glad to hear that there are some lighter elements in it - that's its not all as dark as the sumamry sounds.

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  38. This sounds very interesting. I've never read anything quite like it before. I'll definitely check it out.

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  39. Wow this book is mostly defintely going onto my to read list.

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  40. I am hooked on the book with your review. I'm glad there are lighter elements to the story that balance the darker elements. I loved the book cover. It is one thing that drew me to the book.
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

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  41. You definitely made me want to read the book after reading your review. I've actually never read a review where the grade was an A+. Sounds like this book is a must-read. I'm glad the story is believable and full of emotions.

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  42. I totally agree with you on this!
    Tessa's guilt is understandable but not necessary.

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  43. Based on the review it seems like Tessa has found a romantic interest and will start to live again little by little since her friend is back home. I hope things eventually unfold well for Elle too after what happened. Thanks for the review.

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  44. I'm glad to hear that there are also some lighter elements in this book.

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  45. Oh wow this one sounds fantastic! :) I've heard about this book but never really knew what it was about.

    And I loved the book trailer; probably one of the best that I've seen.

    I disagree however, I love this cover!!

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  46. This looks amazing, I love the trailer, and your review was great!

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  47. I like the review. Thanks for letting us know it also has a lighter side to the dark elements.

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  48. I like how your review included the book trailer movie. I am really wanting to read the book now. Thanks!

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  49. Glad you liked the book. Thanks for the awesome review. I eyed the A+. I'm sure this book is that good after reading the synopsis,review and watching the video trailer.

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  50. Thanks for the review. Now I'm really interested in finding out what happens to Tessa and Noelle. Sounds like a great book.

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  51. Just how you've described how you read this book makes me even more eager to get my hands on it.

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  52. Wonderful review. I really want to read it now! The trailer is really good. :)

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  53. Your review makes me so much more excited for this book...and I was pretty excited before lol. I've wanted to read this since I first saw it!! Thanks for the great review :)

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  54. Definitely putting this on my wish list--Great review!!!

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  55. This book sounds so good!!! I've seen it before at bookstore and wasn't sure if i wanted it but I will definately have to read it now!! :D

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