What's so cool about nice guys?
Everyone at Tess's new school warns her that Micah is bad news—a heartbreaker. But she can't ignore her attraction to this brooding, brilliant, friendless emo hottie who can turn on the charm—or heart-shredding scorn—at a moment's notice. Starting over in a new town after her parents' split isn't easy for Tess, and Micah feels like her first real connection. But what happens when their bond suddenly feels like shackles? And Micah starts to remind Tess of her freakishly controlling father?
With Albatross, Josie Bloss takes her storytelling in a new direction by exploring the dark side of relationships.
The progression of the storyline was fairly standard, and what I more enjoyed was seeing how Micah and Tess's particular relationship played out. It was a quite repetitive, but that was mostly due to the cyclical nature of abuse: the insults, the break-up, the endearing make-up, the insults, etc. and there are different people and events thrown here and there to spice things up. Though there is a semi-unexpected twist at the end that I probably should have been expecting since "idiots now, idiots tomorrow, idiots forever!"* Given the subject matter, I found the ending satisfactory and sweet without being overly gushy or "happy." Life is hard and there's not always that happily ever after, but you're in control of your life and you're the one who can make it better. And that's what Tess proves.
Romance: Abusive. Not much to say here.
Cover: 2.5 -- It's pretty, but a it just doesn't hold any special appeal. The main girl also isn't quite how envisioned the semi-reserved, laid-back Tess that isn't very concerned with her appearance most days...
Bottom Line: Albatross is a clear portrayal of the gross and demented nature of mental abuse and teaches solid lessons about independence and self-identity that all girls, and boys, should know. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a non-graphic depiction of the cruelty and manipulation involved in abuse and, overall, a fairly quick read with some substance. In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, I part with these wise words for Micah, "I scorn you, scurvy companion. What, you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen mate! Away, you mouldy rogue, away!" (Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2, 2.4)
*note on "idiots today, idiots...!" - Sorry about that, agh! I've been studying too much AP U.S. History and George Wallace's segregation spiel!!! *knocks useless history information out of my head*