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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
At Odds by Hannah E. Barnes is a contemporary young and new adult novel about social issues. Savannah couldn’t understand just what had happened to Willow since they all left campus at the end of their spring freshman term. Willow hadn’t reached out to her at all during the summer, and she had abruptly broken off a loving and supportive relationship with Declan, Savannah’s brother. Now that they were both in their dorm again, Savannah hoped things would settle down a bit, but Willow refused to confide in her and seemed to have lost all her normal enthusiasm and joie de vivre. While she listened to her best friend on campus enthuse about the coming term, Willow wondered why she was even there anymore -- and she definitely didn’t want to see Declan again, she just couldn’t bear to. Something awful had happened just before she left for the summer, and she was having trouble living with the shame she felt and the fear that no one would accept her if they knew.
Hannah E. Barnes’s sensitive and moving At Odds focuses on the life-changing ways that a tragic event can impact on a young person’s life. The author’s story addresses the need for a victim to understand that they are not at fault and that sharing the burden of their story with others will help them and others in their situation invaluably. Watching Willow as she tries to pick up the pieces of a shattered life is both painful and inspirational. Barnes’s characters are well defined and credible, especially Willow, Savannah and Declan. Her plot kept me involved and motivated throughout the story. At Odds is beautifully written, and it’s most highly recommended.