Verdict: THE WORST THING tackles intense subject matter and does a magnificent job of drawing the reader in, but due to its unsatisfying ending, there might be confusion as to what story author Nora Gaskin was really trying to tell—and what points the novel was making.
THE WORST THING follows Kellah Mace who tragically lost her parents at the age of fifteen and was in many ways saved by her friend Angie Boone whom she met when she was sent away to boarding school. Kellah and Angie became the world to each other, and at the same time, Angie’s star quickly rose, redefining her as the elusive supermodel Angel. All the while, however, a violent man named Albert Dawin lurked in the shadows, becoming more and more of a threat every day. When Angie and Albert’s paths cross, it sets in motion a series of events that lead to a kidnapping and the potential for Kellah’s worst fear—losing someone else she loves—to become realized.
The novel itself is concise, which adds to its immediacy, and the suspenseful nature of the story makes it hard to put the book down. Still, with such a serious story surrounding intense subjects, it’s difficult not to wonder what the point of it all was when the reader arrives at the last page. Without giving too much away, one can say that the novel often feels much more like Albert’s story than anyone else’s, although the marketing material revolves around Kellah. More consideration is poured into Albert’s characterization than anyone else’s, which feels a bit strange and one-sided, given the nature of his actions and the situations of the other characters in the book.
In addition, the ending of the novel could potentially leave the reader cold, especially if they hoped for more of a resolution to its events. The conclusion seems rushed, and readers hardly know what’s happened before the tale has finished. Also, there is an implication that people with conditions such as PTSD and agoraphobia can sidestep these problems by simply “putting on [their] big-girl panties,” something that won’t fly with most modern readers.
THE WORST THING tackles intense subject matter and does a magnificent job of drawing the reader in, but due to its unsatisfying ending, there might be confusion as to what story author Nora Gaskin was really trying to tell—and what points the novel was making.
~Julia Tilford for IndieReader