~ The Blurb ~
It’s been five years since I clicked Send.
Four years since I got out of juvie.
Three months since I changed my name.
Two minutes since I met Julie.
A second to change my life.
All Dan wants for his senior year is to be invisible. This is his last chance at a semi-normal life. Nobody here knows who he is. Or what he’s done. But on his first day at school, instead of turning away like everyone else, Dan breaks up a fight. Because Dan knows what it’s like to be terrorized by a bully—he used to be one.
Now the whole school thinks he’s some kind of hero—except Julie. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn’t really Daniel…
~ My Thoughts ~
Send is a novel that packs a powerful story about bullying, friendship and forgiveness that is more relevant today than ever before. Dan has a secret, he used to be a bully and his actions caused a tragedy. He also paid for his crime, and continues to pay daily with guilt and remorse. He is also haunted by a shadow of his former self who constantly reminds him of what he did, and this is a secret that no one – not even his parents – knows about. Dan’s only wish is to get through senior year without being noticed and keep his family safe, but that all falls apart of the first day at his new school when he steps between a boy and his tormentor. Dan is compelled to help his new friend Brandon avoid his bully and in the process risks exposing the truth about who he really is.
Even though the subject matter was quite intense at times I found Send to be rather slow moving until I was about ¾ of the way through. I found that the pace really picked up towards the end, and once I got to the final chapters I couldn’t put this book down, but I was disappointed with how long it took for the story to really hook me. My lack of interest largely has to do with the fact that I found it extremely difficult to connect with the characters. Dan was haunted by his 13 year old self Kenny. Dan struggled with Kenny at just about every turn and while I get where Blount was going with these inner dialogues I found it to be a little distracting. Yes I did get to know Dan a little better through these interactions but I also felt as though the tension between Dan and Kenny kept me as a reader at arm’s length.
Brandon and Julie had the potential to be really interesting characters, they both had completely heartbreaking stories but they were so closed off that again I felt as though so much was being held back. It took so long to reveal Julie’s story that I felt fairly ambivalent towards her. Had she not been so hot-and-cold with Dan and secretive her character would have stirred so much more emotion in me.
The ending, while full of big reveals and dramatic tension did not come as much of a surprise. I had predicted, or at least had suspicions, about most aspects of the ending fairly early on in the novel. My lack of surprise certainly did not hinder my enjoyment of the ending, and I absolutely could not bear to put down Send during the last ¼ of the book. Despite the fact that I found the characters to fall flat, I believe that Send is an important addition to YA because the subject matter is so relevant and I think that there is definitely an audience that this story will resonate with and most likely be beneficial to.
I received an eARC of send via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.