Second Chances

Second Chances - Eliza Lentzski I read this book after liking Winter Jacket a lot. But this is actually Ms. Lentzski's first book. And the quality of the writing shows. The book blurb sounds promising. Two high school enemies on opposite ends of the popularity totem pole meet up accidentally after several years apart.

Allison, a well-to-do ex-cheerleading queen, ex-mean girl and now Ivy-leaguer, used to bully Reagan all through high school. The accidental meeting offers them a chance to reconnect and for Allison make amends for all her 'sins' against Reagan.

The characterization is rather inconsistent. Reagan is supposed to be a bit of a doormat, someone who detests confrontation and avoids conflicts. At first, she is like that but after things start heating up, she becomes pushy and aggressive. But then, Allison repeatedly avoids/dumps her and she reverts back to her old forgiving self. Huh?

Allison, on the other hand, is quite unlikeable. Despite her repeated 'professing' to atone for her despicable treatment of Reagan in the past, she effectively still keeps on doing it...albeit in all new different ways. By the 80% mark, I thought that instead of 'Second Chances', the title of the book should have been 'Fifth', 'Sixth' or 'Seventh Chances'.... I'd lost count how many times Allison has had to crawl back to Reagan and grovel. And there doesn't seem to be a happy ending in sight. Every time Reagan forgives her, something happens and Allison runs off again. If you like YA, you will better appreciate the drama. But for me, it was just a little too painful to read.

3.5 stars