REVIEW: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch


Publication Date: July 21st 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Number of Pages: 304
My Rating: ★★★★✩

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22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. She’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. .


Julia and Ryan Vann are twins. Once upon a time, 11 people died in the band room. Ryan was responsible, Julia was in the band room and she was the only one who got out alive. Now “Lucy Black”, Julia and her parents moved to leave their past behind.

But the past wouldn’t stop hunting them.

I was only a few chapters in, but I knew I was in for something great. The plot sounds crazy, the characters are intriguing, and the voice of Julia Vann ― Lucy Black, whatever ― is so real, you could feel her narrating TO you and not FOR you. Does that make sense?

In the beginning chapters of the book, you’d feel nothing but sympathy for Julia. What a strong young girl she is, right? But as you read on, you’d notice how creepy she’s become or how creepy she’s always been and you start to doubt her and as well as your own judgment.

I stayed up until 3AM to finish this book and I was literally too paranoid to sleep. IT’S SO GOOD.

Julia is the most unreliable yet convincing narrator I’ve encountered so far. She’s so sketchy! It’s as though she’d put a leash on my neck, yanks it and tells me “No” every time I think bad of her and, on the other hand, kisses me on the nose, feeds me my favourite food and tells me “Yes, good girl!” when I do otherwise.

Yes, Amanda Panitch is one good storyteller. And yes, the narrator is that strong and creepy.

I did predict some parts of the ending but that didn’t affect my reading experience.

Disturbing, intriguing, and twisted — the story of Julia and Ryan Vann is just one of the many examples of things that people are capable of when they lack of parental guidance. It’s very obvious throughout the story that their parents weren’t as involved as parents should be.

Towards the ending, Julia kept questioning her feelings. Was that love? Was this love? How do you know you love someone? I don’t know what love is. It’s as though she never experienced being loved. And although she’s very mysterious, I couldn’t help but root for her.

I really really enjoyed this book. It’s fucked up, but beautifully. Beautifully fucked up.



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