Wasteland, by Patricia Williams, tells the story of Becca Wilkinson, who, for all intents and purposes, spent her entire life as the invisible girl in the back of the room. Except for her best friend Patrice, her classmates barely knew she existed. She maintained a nice 3.0 average, not because she wasn’t smart enough to obtain an “A,” but because when you were an A student, teachers tended to notice you more. By making herself as “average” as possible, she ensured that she would never really be noticed, and that was just fine with her.
Then came the accident, which happened a year prior to the time in which the story takes place. Becca had what everyone told her was a panic attack and caused a massive deadly pile-up. While everyone else around her seems to have long forgotten the role she played in the crash, Becca cannot let it go. Guilt permeates nearly every moment of her waking hours while nightmares plague her sleep. To top it off, her court-ordered therapist is a total tool who spends more time reworking his newest self-help book than he does actually trying to help Becca through her issues. Thankfully, the tool hits the big time and abandons his patients, leaving room for a new therapist , Mya, to step in, although both Becca and the reader will spend much time questioning her motives. Around this time, another new stranger enters Becca’s life. Through them, Becca learns the truth about who she is and what really happened on the day of the accident. I don’t want to give away what Becca’s “true nature” entails, but I was actually surprised because I thought it was going to be something completely different.
Wasteland went by very quickly, I finished it in a few hours (spread out over two days, it’s been a busy week). It was a great escape from all the mundane tasks I had to accomplish this week and I looked forward to breaks so I could get back into Becca’s head. I immediately connected and empathized with Becca, as I am a long-time sufferer of major panic attacks. Although I’m almost two decades older than the character, I found her very easy to relate to. I like the fact that this book is about Becca discovering who she is, and the author didn’t derail that journey with a trite romance, although I am hoping the next book delves a little bit more into the blossoming connection that was hinted at in this book.
My only minor complaint is that, once Becca finds out the truth, the book flies by way too fast. It took a bit of time to reach that big moment and I really enjoyed the buildup. But once the big reveal came, it seemed like everything happened so quickly that it made my head spin at times. I wanted it to last a little longer, to find out more about why one thing or another was happening. I’m hoping the second book will answer some of those lingering questions. Wasteland ended with a big cliffhanger, and I’m just glad May is only a month away because I really can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Wasteland is available for the Kindle on Amazon.com for .99, and in several formats on Smashwords.com for the same price.
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