By: D.R. Graham
Published By: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: October 7, 2016
Page Count: 250
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult - Contemporary
Deri is back for another adventure, but this one won't take place (for the most part) in Canada. There are no Britannia Beach visits, which saddened me. Instead the setting of this novel is Acapulco, Mexico. Deri has headed off for some sun and fun with Sophie at a private resort. The stress of college has made Deri forget how much she enjoys spending time with her best friend. It's time for the pair to let go of their stress and relax.
This is a good time to stop reading this review if you haven't read the previous novels. There will be no spoilers for this novel in the review, but I will reference a few things from previous novels that could be spoilers for those titles.
Sadly, this girl's trip means that a vast majority of the novel has Deri and Trevor separated. I have been waiting so long for this pair to finally be together that I would have preferred a novel with them working through their relationship issues in the same city. This novel didn't focus on Deri's love life as much as its predecessors. While I still enjoyed this one, it wasn't what I was expecting. It almost felt as if this novel belonged to a different series. The characters were the same, but the story veered into action/adventure a lot more while sacrificing the romance element.
While in Mexico, Deri and Sophie run into Mason. He hasn't spoken to either girl since Deri chose Trevor over him. It's clear that he still carries a torch for Deri, but he seems to have changed in other ways. He is in Mexico working with a humanitarian group to build schools in rural areas. Mason explains that he is working on finding himself as he wasn't all that fond of the guy he was in high school. Deri craves a friendship, but worries that Mason can never see her in that light. She knows that Trevor wouldn't be thrilled with her spending time with Mason, so she tries to be transparent by telling him on the phone about the interaction.
Sophie has her own set of problems that she is working through, but she doesn't want to confide in anyone or think about her recent choices. Instead, she jumps at the chance to accompany Mason to work on the school project. Deri has her doubts as the countryside is known to be dangerous, but she caves to the peer pressure. While Mason assures the girls that everything is safe, things change drastically and the trio is on the run from dangerous men who would hold them for ransom or worse. They can only hope that someone will find them in the Mexican jungle before its too late.
One of the strengths of this novel is the emphasis on friendship. I love the relationship between Deri and Sophie as well as the one between Trevor and Murphy. Friendship is also what lands Deri in hot water when she accompanies Mason. She knows it may not be the best idea, but she chooses to honor his request rather than stand up to him and Sophie.
I enjoyed the fast pace of this one, but it didn't feel like an ending to this series. There are still some loose ends that I would like to see tied up.
One Last Gripe: I was not a fan of the setting. I missed the Pacific Northwest.
Favorite Thing About This Book: Deri's loyalty to her friends
First Sentence: Every glass and mirrored surface in my mom's high-rise condo was sparkling by the time I finished rushing around with a spray bottle.
Favorite Character: Deri
Least Favorite Character: Mason - his choices frustrated me this time around
Juggling assignments and missing her old life in Britannia Beach, Derian Lafleur's first year at university has been overwhelming to say the least. A sun-filled, all-expenses-paid, spring break getaway with her best friend, Sophie Sakamoto, is exactly what she needs. Or so she thinks…
Until the last person in the world Derian expected to see shows up at the Acapulco resort, and her already stressful life suddenly becomes a million times more complicated. When the girls’ spring break takes an unexpectedly dangerous turn, they find themselves lost and injured in the Mexican wilderness, and Deri is the only hope they have for getting out alive. If only she can figure out what to do next.