Do you ever look back and recognize a certain point in time, a certain flash of remembrance and realize it was a turning point in your life? Then do you start to wonder how that certain point is going to affect your future, your forever? What would you do with forever if you actually had it? Would you want to keep forever or give it back?
In Shaun Roudy’s “This”, you get to experience the thrill of youth and the prospect of immortality and “forever”. “This” is a fairly short book, but Roudy’s depth of character development and fast paced action makes it a book you can’t put down. I’ll admit I was a little leery when I started “This” because I knew it was a YA book. While there is nothing steamy in the story, it did not disappoint like many YA books do. This is a fabulous book that will open your eyes to the things you might be overlooking in your own existence and make you realize your “forever” starts with what you enjoy today.
Kayla Porter was your average 17 year old. A few good friends and a loving family help round out her average life. She’s not complaining, really, she knows she has it better than a lot of people. She just can’t help but know, deep down inside, she’s meant for something bigger. Something more than a job, marriage, kids, life, death. Unfortunately the most excitement she gets in her life are terrible nightmares and a crush on a boy at school who doesn’t even know she exists Both the nightmares and her thoughts of Ethan Clayton keep her up at night and leave her exhausted the next day.
Who knew that those restless nights would change her life forever? When Kayla is sent to detention for falling asleep in class she meets the energetic and unique Melissa along with the hot headed, obnoxious Mitch. Kayla enjoys listening to the banter between Melissa and Mitch. (Mitch wants Melissa; Melissa wants to smack Mitch in the head.) Melissa is everything that Kayla isn’t; she’s bold, self assured, and speaks her mind with no worries of what anyone else thinks. Kayla likes her immediately and soon learns that not only is Melissa a breath of fresh air, she’s also Ethan’s sister. Kayla, Melissa, and Ethan strike up a close friendship and soon are spending a lot of time together. Kayla still wants more than just friendship from Ethan, but can’t quite pick up on whether he’s interested in more too. Ethan is just one of those people who are nice to everyone; one of the things Kayla loves the most about him.
A fun trip to the carnival changes everyone’s lives forever. Kayla and Ethan finally figure out their feelings run deeper than friendship. Melissa is tempted with forever until Mitch comes along and picks a fight with the carnival worker and gets his butt kicked in the fighting ring. Mitch is bitten by the carnie and they all go home, Mitch battered and bruised, Melissa, Ethan, and Kayla happy.
When Mitch shows up at school with no injuries and a new outlook on life, the 3 friends don’t know what to think of this suddenly new Mitch. After a series of events including a selfish act of vengeance, a fatal accident, and a nightmare come true, Kayla, Melissa, and Ethan find out just how different their lives have become, having to face the realities of immortality. Even with immortality, everyone is different. Everyone handles their new status differently and not everyone can handle the thought of living forever. Some can’t handle the power they have been given. Kayla comes to find out that she may be the key to giving many a second chance at life or a second chance at death. Will the friends decide that forever isn’t for them, or will they embrace forever together?