Review: Damage Done

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22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. She’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . .


Never ever advertise a book as the “YA version of Gone Girl”. I’ve seen a few books say that so far, and I’ve gone in with a dubious mindset because I just absolutely loved Gone Girl. So although this one was good, I wouldn’t give it a ten, because that would mean that I agreed with the back, that this was a YA Gone Girl, and it wasn’t. So I won’t give a ten.

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Anyway, to the content and the review itself. It wasn’t a thriller. It didn’t move fast enough for it to be a thriller, and there were not enough antagonisers and the antagonisers there were didn’t do much unit the last few chapters of the book. So, it was more psychological than psychological-thriller. But that’s fine. I’m not too fussed about the thriller – or lack thereof – aspect of the book.

I’ll start with the negatives first.

I wasn’t quite sure about the romance. The love interest was a boy called Michael, and this quote basically describes how I felt about him:

He was basically a golden retriever in human form: big, sweet, earnest, and a little bit dumb.

Very accurate. He didn’t really add anything to the book, and it didn’t seem like he was there for any reason apart from to act as Lucy’s chauffeur. And his reason-less existence reflected in the writing. The chemistry between Lucy/Julia and Matthew was as was about as passionate as a pile of elephant sh*t. So, not very. It was boring and it was creepy sometimes because her parents/Matthew’s parents kind of disregarded their daughter/son’s sudden boyfriend/girlfriend, and Matthew kind of just walks into Lucy/Julia’s house and starts making omelettes in the kitchen and Lucy/Julia’s mum doesn’t come downstairs once.

Now to the ending. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Obviously a very well thought out and planned book (ahem*unlikeTheGoodGirls*ahem). The twist was executed perfectly, with just the right amount of nonchalance to make the reader read the sentence, and then go back to it and read it another 5 times just to make sure you read it right.

So that was the biggest flaw and the biggest plus to the book. It’s a short review but you’ve got better things to do than just sit here and listen to me ramble on about a book.


Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7/10


Damage Done is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.


The Info:

  • Title: Damage Done
  • Author: Amanda Panitch
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (July 21st, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553507494
  • URL: Goodreads, Amazon, Author Website
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