Damage by Anya Parrish has such a cool premise – two teenagers that had homicidal imaginary friends as children suddenly come together and realize the nightmare isn’t over yet. Unfortunately – the awesomeness of the plot far exceeded the characterization, leaving me feeling mostly disappointed.
I will say first that Damage was definitely creepy. Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid? What would you do if it suddenly turned up and tried to throw you off a building or breathe fire at you? Top it off with being chased by shady governmental officials and we have definite Halloween-worthy drama on our hands.
Dani and Jesse are in a horrible bus crash, which reawakens their childhood nightmares, leaving them scared out of their minds and in terrible danger. They try to unlock the secrets as to why both of them have such similar problems – which ends up wrapping them up in medicinal complications and governmental intrigue. Whoa boy, are they in for a wild ride.
So, the plot was pretty much non-stop. They went from one terrible situation to the next, constantly trying to battle their imaginations and collect more information about their pasts. Unfortunately – the danger catches up to them far too quickly. There is a massive twist at the end that will leave you bug-eyed, my friends! Anya Parrish handled this aspect of the book extremely well.
Too bad the characters fail to live up to the plot in basically every single way. Both Dani and Jesse basically function only as plot devices. None of their actions or emotions ring true. Ever. I was so totally disappointed by this. The book should have been longer, giving them more room to develop naturally. Example: Dani goes from having never been kissed and hating having people touch her at all to suddenly being in love with Jesse and hating being unable to touch him every second. (I’ll pause here so you can roll your eyes.) Seriously, I don’t know how to say it any other way – the characterization was just plain bad.
Still, if you don’t care as much about the people as you do about a crazy-intense-thrilling-high-octane plot, than Damage is a book you’ll enjoy! Creepy and suspenseful at every turn.