This was a rather random acquisition of mine, I'd seen it mentioned somewhere online and then decided to purchase the e-book whilst at a loose end last week. Rather unusually for me I bought and read this book within a matter of days, whereas a lot of the time I am 'desperate' to read a certain book only to have it sit neglected for eons until it's the 'right' time to read it. Anyway, I found the combination of the intriguing premise, good title and moody cover were not to be resisted.
Lily Odilon shifts between the present and the recent past and fills in gaps as it goes. All of the events unravel from Arthur's perspective, and I found it refreshing to read a YA from a male perspective. The action revolves around the enigma of Arthur's girlfriend Lily and her mysterious disappearance in the middle of the night.
There were several compelling parts of this book and a couple which were less so. I really liked piecing together a picture of Lily, as although at the centre of the book she is only seen through the memories of others and even by the end of the book I didn't feel like I was under her skin. I liked this because it was exactly the kind of character Lily was shown to be throughout, a damaged and unstable girl that had that certain something.
I also loved the use of memory and the 'gaps' in Lily's memories that contribute a lot of suspense to the story. It's difficult to go into detail about this aspect without giving away parts of the story but I liked seeing the fragile side of Lily and how she hid this from others, and I thought her diary was an excellent prop.
The things I didn't like so much were the rushed ending and generally the character of Arthur. He was only developed in relation to Lily so while we heard plenty of back story for her there was hardly any real personality behind Arthur and while I get he's meant to be a normal guy propelled into a crazy situation he was too cowardly and indecisive for me. The ending brings my rating for the book down from a 4 out of 5 to a 3.5 because after waiting for the whole book to find out what had happened to Lily there was such a rushed ending it fell massively flat.
I definitely enjoyed this book and it does tackle some tough subjects and it has some real moments of tension, but an extra 20 pages to explain things more would have created a more lasting impression for me.