Imogen is a black belt in taekwondo. For years, she has honed her skills to become a well-oiled fighting machine. She can execute kicks and punches with devastating force. However, when she gets mixed up in a hold-up at a diner, Imogen hides. She comes back to awareness covered in blood with no memory of what happened. When it counted, she did nothing.
I came across this book while browsing one of the local public libraries. I opened it, read the book flap, went “oh hey, I used to do taekwondo, this looks cool”, and took it home. Although I was initially attracted to the book because of the nostalgia factor, I actually ended up enjoying it and sped through it in a day. Imogen, despite her flaws, is an enjoyable character, who grows over the course of the book. I liked her character trajectory and found the depiction of her to be well-rounded. She receives consequences for her actions, and she’s self-aware on a number of things and comes to address the things she sees in black and white terms.
Another great thing about the book is that it’s not exclusively about the diner incident. Yes, the book does focus on Imogen’s recovery from PTSD and her identity crises as a martial artist, but also addresses other challenges in her life and addresses some of the challenges in her relationships with her family and her friends. Skilton does a great job of intertwining all of these problems into a cohesive, engaging plot. Overall, this was a great find in the young adult section, and I recommend it.