Drop is Katie Everson’s debut novel and unfortunately, there’s nothing inside the story that shouts “I’m unique! Read me! I’ll keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end!”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like this book, overly-used clichés (because you can never, ever fully escape them anymore) and all, but there’s nothing special about it. The blurb at the back of the book was very intriguing and yeah, the narration is definitely honest. It’s subtle in parts, blunt in others and it’s certainly smooth in terms of staying in character/writing style, though I wouldn’t call it the “most compelling” because I found the writing rather flat. In fact, the entire time I was reading this, I was 99% ‘meh’ and 1% “OMG, Marvel/Harry Potter/Some-Literature-Book reference!”
Carla’s a rather relatable character—an awkward teenager wanting to fit in, to have some kind of normal life yet also not be the wallflower hidden from the public’s view anymore. But, of course, like almost every other contemporary YA I’ve ever read, she falls for the popular guy who of course, is trouble and he lures her into his popular group and makes her one of them as well. In this case, the boy’s called Finn Masterson and he apparently looks like “Thor or Hercules or I don’t know, Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man” (p.34). Score! Cause it’s RDJ! Boo! Cause the image of a messy-haired blonde guy with bright blue eyes sticks to my mind and every other description about his hair or eyes that may have popped up in the story completely flies over my head. Then, there just has to be the two-brothers-in-love-with-the-same-girl idea thrown in here and yes, Isaac Masterson is nice. I like him enough but does his presence make me like the book more? Naw. Honestly, I felt like I was reading a more bearable variation of Twilight at some point.
It doesn’t help that Carla gets excellent grades and is some kind of artistic genius too. Sure, she slips as she falls deeper into the lure of Finn, drugs, alcohol and wild parties despite her brain’s logical reasons telling her not to, and sure she has some sort of dysfunctional family, but do these points make her more special to me? Nope. Still sounds like a run-of-the-mill YA heroine. I’m pretty sceptical about how she doesn’t feel much side effects from stopping drugs as well. She couldn’t immediately kick smoking to the curb but drugs? Almost in snap. On top of that, after she finally realises how toxic Finn is to her, she dumps him…only to fall in love with Isaac Masterson almost immediately. Wow, Carla Carroll is so swift.
On the other hand, Isaac Masterson is also one of those too-good-to-be-true kind of guy. He’s the gem the majority of the real life girls are trying to find. He’s also part of the cause for many believing that their crush/lover/etc. is physic and can automatically do things (and go that extra mile) that will make them happy because hey, magic mind-reading has no need for actual talking. And, of course he likes reading. Of course. Where’s a guy like that in today’s modern world now? Where’s a guy like that in the societal branches I float around? He’s a needle in a haystack. Scratch that, a needle in a stack of needles. That’s more difficult to find.
Oh, and I have to mention that I find Sal (Carla’s cousin) an extremely likeable side character, and I have to question the lack of mentioning about Carla’s first two friends in her new high school for quite a number of pages in the middle of the story as well. Lauren and Sienna seemed to truly want to be Carla’s friend and they did react to Carla’s ditching them in the beginning of the book but they just disappear when the ditching continues. There were no reactions and all until Carla actually seeks their company again near the end of the story—odd because I feel that someone (especially teenagers) with genuine intentions would’ve been madder.
All in all, Everson did alright with her first ever published novel. The writing’s not as raw as I’d like it to be, but it still got whatever messages (I think the foremost one is that one has to always remember that there are consequences to your actions) Everson wants it to get across, across.