Minutes Before Sunset Review

28 Dec

17801911She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

So this is not typically a book I would have chosen to read for myself- or knew existed. However, the author had contacted me about a cover reveal, and also kindly provided a review copy of Minutes Before Sunset. I had looked through the reviews and wondered  why everyone had been so shocked that it was good. A good book is a good book, right? The cover is beautiful, the summary is intriguing, when I read the first page, I was hooked. So what was the problem?

I don’t exactly know for sure, to tell you the truth. It could have been a great many things, but I had read three chapters started wondering where the author was going with this story, which may be why a lot of people were also a little weary of this. But I absolutely LOVED it. I’ll tell you why:

This book was really unique to me. The Dark is the good side, and The Light is evil, which goes against the stereotypical archetype. It also wasn’t told through the perspective of one protagonist, but two. Two lives seemingly having almost nothing to do with each other. Jessica was sweet, the new girl, completely bull headed. Eric was antisocial, and had his own personal agenda. He didn’t care about his human life, even though it wasn’t fair to others around his human self.

The beginning didn’t really… drag… but the point of the book did. It makes sense once you get to the middle of the book as to why it had to be written the way it was, but reading a book and wondering how everything fits together can really make the book seem longer than it really is, at least for the impatient types such as myself.

The one thing that was a little weird was the Nameless Shade. I mean, I knew who she was, I don’t know about the rest of the readers. It was really easy to guess, especially since the subtle hints weren’t so subtle. I think that the reader should have known her identity from the start, because the irony would have been more affective if it had been a dramatic irony instead. When her identity was revealed, it was like we suddenly saw a whole other life that was hidden from us before, and it would have been nice to have seen the reactions of this character from the very beginning. But I understand why it was done this way. Despite all this, I still really appreciated the irony and how it all came together in the end. But maybe others wouldn’t have guessed? Maybe they liked the way the identity of the Nameless Shade was hidden? It could just be me.

This book seemed like three pieces of a puzzle, one for the beginning, one for the middle, and one for the end. The first piece being: What do these two protagonists have to do with each other? The second being: How are these two protagonists going to come together to form the story? And the last one was the big reveal, where we as the readers see the bigger picture of the whole book. It was very clever, and I don’t know if I’m describing it in a way you would understand. You have to read to understand.

As a person who craves information, I really would have loved to see this be two books as apposed to one. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the way she wrote it here. I can see the appeal completely, and I absolutely do not want her to change it. But it just didn’t seem like enough. I want to know more. I have so many questions. I would have loved to have Jessica’s POV as one book, and Eric’s as another. But that’s just me being selfish. And I get selfish when I really like a book.

The character development was great, more so for Eric than for Jessica throughout the book. Jessica develops very nicely in the end, but because of certain situations, we couldn’t see the development until a couple of reveals later. We knew everything about Eric, though, so we saw his development throughout the novel. I loved how subtle things about Eric really came out, especially in the end. He’s not typically a very open character, and we see why he wouldn’t be, so it was nice to see him connecting to others in the end.

And of course there’s a romance. But between who? Shannon Thompson was really inventive with the romance bit. I didn’t even think anything would happen until it did, and when it did my toes curled and all I could think about was how cute it all was.

Okay. So I know I’m being completely cryptic, but trust me, you have GOT to read this book. It was a very nice YA. It was also very nice to see Thompson step out from a lot of the archetypes we usually see in YA literature, as well as steering away from the apocalyptic world we see everywhere now. I totally read all the apocalyptic stuff like my life depends on it, but it’s really nice to see something different. It may not be flourishing yet, specifically because it isn’t following the trend at the moment, but I know that this is the kind of book that will be around after the apocalyptic trend dies down.

4 stars.

4 Responses to “Minutes Before Sunset Review”

  1. Shannon A Thompson December 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to review Minutes Before Sunset!

  2. Niejan December 29, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Sounds like a great read. I’m really into YA books, so I think I’m gonna give this one a try. 🙂


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