Review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

Julia Venn has just one photograph of her beloved twin brother and a brand new identity as Lucy Black. She is only survivor of a horrific high school shooting where her twin brother shot her best friend, her boyfriend and many of their classmates, though she cannot remember anything about those twenty-two minutes. But things are not quite as they seem, and Julia may not be the honest and reliable teenager that she makes out to be. And when her brother's former psychiatrist comes searching for her, Julia knows that her secrets may just be about to come out ...

I felt that Damage Done was an exciting teen thriller with an unreliable (and thoroughly horrible,) narrator. Author Amanda Panich plays with her readers, drip feeding them information, before giving Julia's true nature away. Equally shocking is Julia's true relationship with her brother, though the author handles the controversial subject matter well. My only real complaint is that Julia's distant parents never quite seemed fully developed in their own right--the reasons for their neglect, and lack of understanding of their children, are never quite clear. (That fraternal twins were born hand in hand is a little of a surprise as well, but the story is set up so well, that I was easily able to suspend my disbelief.) All in all, Damage Done was an enjoyable teen thriller with an unlikely and delightfully unpleasant heroine.


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