Madison Sabatini thought she knew who she was: an almost-sophomore with a bright future. The newest photographer on her school paper. A shopaholic with great hair and a fabulous wardrobe. Then, in a flash, everything changed.
Now she's stuck in Sandyland, a gloomy beach town in the middle of nowhere, living with her parents in a crappy hotel "suite." Instead of spending the summer with her friends at home, she's hanging out with pink-haired Delilah, an artist who works in a shop called Psychic Photo, and a skater boy named Duncan who's totally not her type. Except, maybe he is . . .
Determined to make the best of things, Madison throws herself into her one passion: photography. But when strange figures start appearing in her pictures—people who weren't there when she snapped the shots, people who are later reported dead—she begins to question everything about who she is . . . and who she wishes she could be.
Madison and her family were supposed to be in Hawaii for the summer, sipping fruity beverages and snapping pics of warm, clear water, but instead she's been dragged to the "charming" beach community of Sandyland. Her father (a construction worker who's fallen on hard times) has found a job there and has pitched the trip as a "working vacation". But it doesn't take long to figure out that something bigger is going on here, especially once Madison sees the rumors that are flying around on her MySpace page. Is there something that her parents aren't telling her?
This was a very quick read (it only took me one afternoon). The story wasn't as ghosty as the synopsis led me to believe, it was primarily about Madison learning to deal (and, boy, did she have a lot to learn!). She was a very image obsessed character and I often had the urge to slap her. She was so hung up on her "real friends" and her status symbols (nice jeans, in-ground pool, great hair, and primo neighborhood and school) that she caused herself a lot of grief and nearly missed out on real friendships.
The photography bit felt forced to me, especially in the first half of the book. The descriptions improved in the second half, but I think that the title was more about Madison's snap judgements than her snap shots.
The characters were good. They were colorful and easily relatable. Despite the fact that I wanted to knock some sense into the girl, it was easy to put yourself in Madison's shoes. The writing style was very fast paced and simple so that it really felt like Madison was telling it.
The ending was in the style of an afterword. I don't really like this style because it feels to me too much like a rap-up. They read like a laundry list of things that happened after; like the author ran out of juice and is just trying to finish the thing. I wasn't thrilled with how it ended in the story department either; it just sorta went !!!... -_- Zzzz. You know?
Ratings: The suggested age range was young adult (12 and up), but the content was really more in line with a mid-grade book. There was no smut (small victory), and the relationships were very immature. I give this a PG rating with a warning that there is some use of the occult (some people are really bothered by that, so it must be said).
I give Snap...
It might improve from the uncorrectd version, who knows (not me), but it just fell flat. If you like chick-lit and coming of age stories with a little touch of darkness, than this is for you. It just wasn't for me.
***I won this ARC from a fellow blogger. See disclaimer at end of page.***