Published: July 21st 2015
Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers
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. . . .
Damage Done is the YA equivalent of Gone Girl. It takes you on a horrific roller coaster ride from the beginning and it does not stop until the very last page.
The plot draws you in even though everything about it can be labelled as "disturbing." I wasn't prepared for everything that happened in this book and, trust me, you won't be either. The Creep Factor rises as the story progresses and this could be a turnoff to some readers. In my case, I was completely hooked but very creeped out at the same time. I love unreliable main characters so this was right up my alley. The author gives you pieces of the puzzle throughout the book, which keeps you at the edge of your seat. Once you figure it out, it becomes a story that you wish you didn't know because you're not likely to forget it.
Even though the story is very heavy/dark/bonkers, the prose is gorgeous. That darkness mixed with those little speckles of beauty is so rare and it kept me wanting more. It is equal parts terrifying and weird but the good plot, excellent storytelling, and complex characters make it very readable.
This book is twisted, mysterious, and unforgettable. Damage Done is bold, which tells me that Amanda Panitch isn't afraid of complicated characters and strong themes. I'm very excited to see what she writes next.
Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. Amanda now resides in New York City where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaPanitch, and visit her online at www.amandapanitch.com