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Six Months Later

Six Months Later

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Six Months Later

évaluations:
4/5 (14 évaluations)
Longueur:
336 pages
4 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 1, 2013
ISBN:
9781402285523
Format:
Livre

Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of teen suspense books, Natalie D. Richards, comes a psychological thriller about a girl who wakes up with everything she's ever wanted, but can't remember the last six months of her life, perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and If I Stay.

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground, and she can't remember the last six months.

Before, she'd been a mediocre student.
Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools.

Before, she never had a chance with sports star Blake.
Now he's her boyfriend.

Before, she and Maggie were inseparable.
Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she'd ever imagined.

This book is perfect for:
  • Readers of all ages who want thriller books in paperback
  • Fans of Karen McManus and Natasha Preston
  • Parents looking for mystery books for teens
  • Praise for Six Months Later:
    YALSA Teens Top 10 nominee
    "[A] smart, edgy thriller."—Kirkus
    "Well paced and beautifully written...This romantic thriller will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page."—School Library Journal
    "An intense psychological mystery... has the feel of a high-stakes poker game in which every player has something to hide."—Publishers Weekly

    Also by Natalie D. Richards:
    Five Total Strangers
    Gone Too Far
    My Secret to Tell
    One Was Lost
    We All Fall Down
    What You Hide

    Éditeur:
    Sortie:
    Oct 1, 2013
    ISBN:
    9781402285523
    Format:
    Livre

    À propos de l'auteur

    After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her second novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.

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    Aperçu du livre

    Six Months Later - Natalie D. Richards

    Also by Natalie D. Richards

    Six Months Later

    Gone Too Far

    My Secret to Tell

    One Was Lost

    We All Fall Down

    What You Hide

    Five Total Strangers

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    Books. Change. Lives.

    Copyright © 2013, 2020 by Natalie D. Richards

    Cover and internal design © 2020 by Sourcebooks

    Cover design by Kerri Resnick

    Cover images © David Lichtneker/Arcangel Images; valzan/Shutterstock

    Internal design by Danielle McNaughton/Sourcebooks

    Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks.

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks.

    The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

    Published by Sourcebooks Fire, an imprint of Sourcebooks

    P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

    (630) 961-3900

    sourcebooks.com

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data is on file with the publisher.

    Contents

    Front Cover

    Title Page

    Copyright

    One

    Two

    Three

    Four

    Five

    Six

    Seven

    Eight

    Nine

    Ten

    Eleven

    Twelve

    Thirteen

    Fourteen

    Fifteen

    Sixteen

    Seventeen

    Eighteen

    Nineteen

    Twenty

    Twenty-One

    Twenty-Two

    Twenty-Three

    Twenty-Four

    Twenty-Five

    Twenty-Six

    Twenty-Seven

    Twenty-Eight

    Twenty-Nine

    Thirty

    Thirty-One

    Thirty-Two

    Thirty-Three

    Acknowledgments

    Excerpt from Five Total Strangers

    One

    About the Author

    Back Cover

    For my Dad and David.

    Thank you for believing.

    One

    I’m sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames. Irony or divine intervention? I can practically feel the metal handle under my fingers. It might as well be whispering my name.

    Tempting. One strategic arm stretch and I could send this whole school into an evacuation frenzy.

    I could end Maggie’s nightmare right now.

    At the front of the classroom, she swallows hard. She is as pale and shaky as the paper in her hands.

    The social p-pressures and isolation encountered b-by male n-n—

    I can’t let her suffer like this.

    Maggie shakes her head and tries to shrug it off with a sheepish grin. S-sorry.

    It’s all right, Mrs. Corwin says, playing with the cat pendant around her neck. There’s no reason to be scared.

    She thinks stuttering is a fear problem? Aren’t teachers supposed to know about speech issues and all that crap? Then again, what can I expect from a woman who has professionally framed pictures of her beloved Siamese, Mr. Whiskers, on her desk?

    Maggie takes a breath. The p-pressures and isolation encountered by male n-nurses in a predominantly f-female occupation is a compelling argument f-f-f— She trails off, going crimson.

    Someone snickers from the front.

    Go on, Maggie, Mrs. Corwin says. Again.

    I’m going to do it.

    Beside me, Blake Tanner shifts in his chair. I know this partly because I have good peripheral vision, but mostly because I have freakishly sensitive Blake radar. I hesitate, breathing in the clean hint of his cologne, watching him softly drum a thumb on his desktop.

    My face goes hot. I can’t do this with him sitting here. I’m completely invisible to this guy. And now I’m finally going to get his attention by, what? By pulling a fire alarm? Yes, I’m sure that will send a great message. To the guy who’s been on the student council since the eighth grade.

    Maggie tosses her hair back, forging on. It’s a compelling argument f-for s-s-sexism against men. In most modern contexts, concerns about s-s-s-s—

    Maggie goes pink and then red. Tyler and Shannon laugh in the back, and my eyes start to well up. Screw it. I can’t sit here for one more second of one more minute.

    I sink down as far as I can in my chair and start sliding my arm back along the wall. I reach up, but I’m grasping blind. It kind of hurts. I touch something cool and metal. Bingo. Two seconds and this misery is over.

    Blake clears his throat and I bite my lip. Is he watching me?

    What’s wrong with me? Of course he’s not watching me. I’m invisible.

    I turn my head because I’m sure I feel someone’s eyes on me. I do.

    Adam Reed. He’s slouched low in his seat, his dark hair in desperate need of the business end of a pair of scissors.

    Adam arches one of his brows at me. The half smile on his lips asks me what I’m waiting for. I don’t really have an answer, so I curl my fingers over the alarm handle and pull hard. And then I kiss my detention-free junior year goodbye.

    * * *

    Maggie is waiting outside the principal’s office. She’s got a couple of notebooks clutched in her arms and a pencil securing her strawberry blond waves into a bun.

    The office door is barely closed when she starts in on me. What were you thinking? You c-could have been expelled.

    I sling my backpack over my shoulder and offer our school secretary, Mrs. Love, a wave. Maggie takes the cue and follows me briskly back into the hallway. Students are slamming locker doors and texting madly in the few minutes between periods.

    Someone whistles, and across the hall, Connor holds two thumbs up. Let’s hear it for fire safety!

    The hallway bursts into a smattering of applause and wolf calls. I blush but give a little bow with a flourish of my hand.

    We make our way to the stairs, climbing them two at a time.

    So what happened, Chloe? How b-bad is it?

    I got a week of detention and a lecture about applying my interest in psychology to evaluating my episodes of acting out.

    Maggie looks away, and I can tell she’s biting her tongue.

    I know that look. It means she’s working hard to say something in a way that won’t offend the hell out of me.

    Spit it out. You’re obviously dying to insert commentary.

    She sighs. Look, I know you w-wanted to help me, but you’ve got to start thinking about yourself, Chloe. Sometimes it’s like you’re running away from everything you want.

    I try not to look as hurt as I feel. It’s not like I’m afraid of being good, Mags.

    She just laughs and takes my arm. "You jumped off the Third Street Bridge on a dare, which proves you’re not afraid of anything. It also proves you’re insane."

    Watch it.

    I take a breath as we pass the drinking fountains, heading close to the last stretch of lockers in the hall. An otherwise unremarkable place in this building except for the fact that it’s the Blake Zone.

    As if on cue, he closes his locker door and appears, the tall, popular king of this lonely hallway. He laughs at a joke I don’t hear. It’s a perfect laugh that matches his perfect teeth and his perfect everything else.

    I sigh. Did Blake seem…disappointed?

    She blows out an impatient breath and rolls her eyes at me. I didn’t really think to dissect Blake’s expression in the chaos and p-panic of the fire evacuation.

    Blake laughs again, and I turn away, my cheeks burning. Right. Sorry.

    She gives me a sly grin. Want me to go ask him?

    I slump back against the wall with a sigh. How is it that I’m not the one who talks to boys? I’m the bridge jumper, the alarm puller—

    The streaker, Maggie adds.

    That was one time! And technically, I was in my undies, but yes. How is it that you, High Queen of the Honor Roll, are better at this than me?

    The stutter makes me a wild card, she says, winking. No one ever sees me coming. And you talk t-to plenty of guys.

    My gaze lingers on the stretch of Blake’s polo across his shoulders, the ends of his hair curling over his collar. Yeah, well. Not that one.

    I’ve got to g-get to class, Maggie says. Speaking of which, did you remember to pick up your GPA at the office this morning?

    I feign a big, carefree smile. Gosh, I must have completely forgotten. But I totally signed up for the SAT study group you told me about.

    And somehow forgot t-to ask for your GPA? she asks, clearly unconvinced.

    Oh, who cares about a GPA anyway?

    She blinks at me, arms crossed. Uh, every college you’ll be applying to.

    Right. Well, finals aren’t until next week. I can fix it.

    Her eyes go dark. Fix it? How bad is it?

    Um, I— The warning bell rings, saving me from another lie. Gotta dash. Study hall and all. Yep, that’s me. Study, study, study.

    I slip inside the door and hear her calling after me. You’re running out of time, Chloe!

    She’s got a point. I have exactly six days left of my junior year to turn my GPA into something that won’t doom me to serving bad eggs at Trixie’s Diner for the rest of my life. The urgency should inspire me to use every minute of my study hall period. It really should.

    I pick up my biology notes, but it’s all cellular this and genetic that, and my eyelids feel heavy after two lines. Why can’t I get my act together?

    Everyone around me is in full-force cram mode. Of course they are. Even Alexis, who spent the whole year reading Vogue behind her textbooks, is flipping through a stack of note cards. I’m officially the last slacker standing.

    Maybe I could make a waitressing gig awesome. Except I don’t want a waitressing gig. I only want one gig, and it doesn’t involve rushing baskets of fries to hungry truckers.

    It involves a doctorate degree in psychology.

    How am I going to get through twelve years of college if I can’t even stay awake in study hall?

    Too bad I can’t make a career out of sleeping in class undetected. I could tutor people in that. It’s all about the posture. Chin in palm says bored. Chin on knuckles says deeply in thought.

    And that sunbeam drifting through the window next to my desk? It says, Go to sleep, Chloe.

    I tilt my head, watching the late May sunshine stroke my arms with soft, golden fingers. I do have all weekend to study. And I’ve got that stupid study group tonight, so I’m taking steps in the right direction. How much harm could one teeny little catnap do?

    I give into the warmth and let my eyes slip closed. I’ll worry about my lack of self-discipline after the bell rings.

    But the bell doesn’t ring.

    There’s no sound at all to wake me, just a cold sinking feeling in my middle. The hair on the back of my neck prickles, and my heart changes rhythm. Skips one beat. Then another.

    And I know something is horribly wrong.

    Two

    I’m afraid to open my eyes, but I do.

    Darkness closes around me like a fist. Even still half-asleep, I know this isn’t right. I blink blearily, but everything feels off. The room, the air…me.

    Dreaming. I must still be dreaming.

    Outside the window, everything is dark. Wait, that can’t be right. It can’t be that late.

    Can it?

    A slate-gray sky stretches beyond the glass. I see bits of white trailing through it, drifting down like glitter against velvet.

    What is that? Flowers? Dust? No, it’s just snow.

    Snow?

    I bolt out of my seat, the scrape of my chair legs shattering the silence. I’m alone. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I stare at the emptiness.

    The clock above the whiteboards reads 9:34 p.m. Mr. Brindell, who I’ve never seen anywhere but behind his desk, is gone. I look around, realizing that it’s not just the teacher. Everyone is gone. Everything too. Books, papers, backpacks dangling from the corners of chairs. I’m in the belly of a skeleton, the remains of a class long over.

    Panic shoots through me like a shock from a bad plug, white hot and jangling every nerve.

    No.

    No, this can’t be happening. It’s a scary dream. A mistake.

    I lean closer to the window, but the snow refuses to be anything other than what it is. It falls thickly on the brown grass, clinging to the spindly branches of barren trees.

    Where are the leaves? For that matter, where is the freaking sun?

    Please let me wake up. I need to wake up.

    But I won’t. I feel it in my bones. My heart screams, Nightmare! but my mind says otherwise. This is happening.

    I press my hand to the glass then snatch it back in shock. My nails—they’re filthy. I examine the black half-moons of dirt wedged under each nail, black streaks caked into the creases of my fingers.

    Okay, this is too creepy. Like horror-movie creepy and I need to get out of here. Right now.

    I reach for my backpack, but it’s not there. Gone too is the strappy sundress I zipped myself into today. I’m wearing a black sweater and jeans now. The feel of the soft knit beneath my fingers makes my stomach roll. This isn’t right. Nothing is right.

    I find the comforting bulge of my car keys in one pocket and my cell phone in the other. Thank God. I pull it out with shaking fingers and turn it on.

    Light blooms on the screen, and I deflate in relief. Outside the world is still screaming all its wrongness at me, but this little glowing rectangle is my anchor. I hold it tight.

    I inch farther away from the dark window with its impossible snow, my fingers hovering over the keypad on my phone.

    Now what? My parents flash through my mind, but they still think I’m crazy after last fall. I might as well just call the psychiatric ward at Mercy Hospital and save the extra step. No, I can’t call my parents.

    Maggie.

    My speed dial for her doesn’t work. Too impatient to figure out why, I scan through my recent calls. But she’s not on here.

    Impossible. I haven’t gone ten minutes without calling or texting Maggie since we both got phones in the ninth grade. I texted her on my way to the principal’s office like two hours ago.

    One glance at the window reminds me that wasn’t two hours ago.

    I keep paging, stopping only to make sure this isn’t someone else’s phone. Because the list of names in my recent calls cannot belong to me. Finally, on the sixth or seventh page, I find my mom’s cell phone and a couple of calls to my house, but no Maggie.

    I pull up the detail on one of my calls, and fear slithers through me like a living thing. 11/10—6:32 p.m.

    As in November 10? No. I read it once and then again. A bunch of other calls are all from November too. I glance up, panicked, finding a calendar on the wall and a flyer for a winter dance that should still be eight months away.

    The evidence hits me like icy darts, needling me toward the impossible truth. I’ve been asleep for six months. A coma or something. Somehow, I’ve missed six months of my life.

    But that can’t be right either. They wouldn’t leave me unconscious in a classroom. I’d be in a hospital, hooked up to machines and watched by nurses. But if I wasn’t asleep…

    Amnesia?

    Maybe I’ve also got a terrible case of consumption too. Or malaria. I need to get serious here—no one gets amnesia! But what else could this be? The longest lasting roofie of all time? Alien abduction?

    A sinister possibility whispers to me. One word, two syllables, and an endless river of humiliation.

    Crazy. I could be going crazy.

    I heard it enough last year, whispered behind my back. I saw it on their faces too, expressions that ranged from pity to contempt as they looked at the troubled girl. But troubled is way better than insane, and what else could this be?

    Sane people forget what they ate for breakfast. Or maybe the names of their new neighbors. They don’t wake up in a dark classroom without a damned clue where they’ve been or what they’ve done for six months.

    Adrenaline flares through my middle, making my joints tickle and my stomach cramp. I feel my body poising for flight, my lips going numb, my heart pumping faster with each beat.

    It won’t stop there. Not with me. Familiar bands squeeze around my chest in warning, and I clench my fists. I have to calm down before this turns into a full-blown panic attack.

    I close my eyes and do all the things my therapist told me to do. I remind myself that I am okay. That I am not sick or dying. My body is giving me extra energy to figure this out, and it’s good energy. It’s okay. I don’t need to be afraid.

    Chloe?

    My head snaps up at the sound of my name and at the person standing in the open doorway of the classroom. Adam Reed. Six feet and a couple of inches of something that scares me half to death.

    I feel the blood drain from my face as he makes his way into the room. The light from the windows seems all too happy to highlight his model-worthy cheekbones and broad shoulders. Adam’s so pretty he looks like he could sprout wings and a halo. But angels don’t usually come with criminal records.

    Is he here because of the fire alarm? He’s looking at me like that again, with a little bit of a smile on his face. And Adam never smiles, so what gives?

    What do you want? I ask, my voice small and frightened.

    He chuckles. You called me, remember?

    The idea of me calling him is so ridiculous I can’t even respond. We don’t even nod at each other in the halls. Why would I call him?

    Despite my little fire alarm adventure, it’s not like we run in the same circles. I get along with almost everyone. Adam can’t seem to move through the hallways without starting a fight. I sometimes walk dogs at the animal shelter. He sometimes gets pulled out of class by the police. We aren’t just in different social groups; we’re in different solar systems.

    He tilts his head, and I take a breath, feeling my shoulders relax. Which is maybe crazier than anything else happening right now. I shouldn’t feel safer with him here. I should feel completely freaked out.

    So why don’t I?

    What are you doing here? he asks, and though everything about his heavy black boots and ratty cargo jacket screams don’t-give-a-crap, he sounds interested. Maybe even concerned.

    I’m… I search for something that sounds better than I’m losing my mind or I’m stuck in some Twilight Zone time warp, but nothing comes. And I don’t need to explain myself to him. I don’t even know him.

    "Why are you here?" I ask instead.

    Because you called me, he says, laughing again. Then he nods down at my hands, smirking. Have you been making mud pies while you waited for me to get here?

    I flush and hide my hands, but I still take an instinctive step toward him. And then I remember that he is a juvenile delinquent and, for all I know, a psychopath. I should be running away from him. He doesn’t look like a psychopath though. He just looks like Adam.

    He crosses his arms and smirks at me. "You do remember calling me, right?"

    Fear snakes its way up my spine, making my tongue thick and my throat dry.

    No. I don’t. I’ve never had a conversation with him, or hell, even stood this close to him until tonight.

    Maybe he’s wasted. He’s got to be, right? But he looks absolutely sober. No red eyes or twitchy fingers. Kind of odd, now that I think of it, because I would have figured him for the type.

    He smirks at me then, his blue eyes glittering. I’m impressed you jimmied the cafeteria door without my help. I was beginning to think you’d never figure that out.

    What? I did what to the what?

    This is nuts. Completely nuts. I’ve never jimmied anything in my life. And if I did, it wouldn’t be the door to my high school cafeteria.

    He braces his hands on the back of a chair and tilts his head. A rush of déjà vu washes over me. I take a breath and hold it in, watching him drag his thumb along the back of the chair. I’ve seen this. I’ve seen him here, looking at me like this. I’m sure of it.

    I stare at his hand, feeling my cheeks go white and cold. Apparently he senses the change because his smile disappears, his eyes narrowing.

    You all right, Chlo?

    My nickname sounds right on his lips. Natural. He shouldn’t even know I have a nickname, let alone feel right using it. But he obviously does.

    You look scared to death, he adds, frowning down at me.

    I’m not sure scared is the right word. I’m not sure there is a right word for all the things I’m feeling.

    I’m fine. Just tired, I lie.

    He walks right up to me, and I swear to God, I can’t remember how to breathe. My heart is pounding and my fingers are shaking, but somehow the world feels steady anyway. I’m not afraid. I should be, but I’m just not.

    Do you need to talk? Is that why you called? he asks. You know you can talk to me.

    I know that, I say automatically, the words coming from a place I can’t find, a great empty space in me where I’m sure a memory should be.

    I feel inexplicably sad at this yawning hole, this absence.

    What’s happening to me? What happened to make me forget?

    I bite my lip and feel my eyes burn with the threat of tears. Adam’s expression softens, twisting into something pained. Not once have I dreamed him possible of this kind of look. Hell, of anything in the same zip code as this look.

    He opens his mouth to say something, and my whole body goes tense, my belly a knot of fluttering things. What is going on with me?

    He reaches across the desk between us, almost but not quite touching my fingers. Every centimeter between our hands feels charged. Electric.

    We can’t keep doing this, Chloe, he says softly.

    The words sting and I don’t know why. I don’t even know what he means, but I desperately want to argue with him. I want to shake my head and grab his hands and—this is crazy.

    Way beyond crazy.

    My whole world is sliding into a flat spin. I can’t have this guy, this total freaking stranger, at the center of it.

    If I don’t get away from him, I’m going to do something stupid. Something I won’t be able to come back from.

    I have to go, I say, retracting my hands into fists and starting toward the door.

    Chloe, he says, touching my bare wrist as I pass.

    Something warm rushes through me, making my ears buzz and my face heat up. I hear Adam laughing in the back of my mind, like the sound track to a movie I can’t see. I whirl to face him, ready to snap his head off for making fun.

    But he’s not laughing. Not now. The memory of his laughter fades away even as Adam’s hand drops from my shoulder, a hurt look crossing his face.

    He lets me pass without another word. My footsteps are even and steady as they carry me into the hall. I wish my heart would follow the example.

    Three

    My car isn’t in its normal spot. Then again, I’ve misplaced a couple of seasons, so why should this surprise me? I finally find the aging Toyota in the south lot, resting under a thin blanket of snow. So I haven’t been here long.

    Only six months or so.

    Panic rushes again, squeezing hot fingers around my throat. I force myself to count to ten. And then twenty. Finally, I give up on trying to harness my inner calm and I pry open my frozen car door.

    I start my engine and find my scraper in the backseat and set to work shaving the ice from my windshield. I’m shaking so hard that my teeth are rattling.

    I stop once to call Maggie, getting her voicemail twice in a row. The fact that she doesn’t answer is as stupefying as everything

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    • (4/5)
      Well, I'm impressed! Six Months Later was quite the book, and it made short work of drawing me in from the very beginning. Is there anything more terrifying than waking up with no memory of the past six months? For Chloe that's a reality. From the moment she awakens, you're right there with her. Terror and all. It was an intense start to a book that wouldn't let me go until I finished. As I said, I'm totally impressed.

      What struck me most, besides the amazing opening of course, was how well built this whole book really is. Chloe's life slowly comes to light as the book progresses. You find out the type of person she once was, compared starkly against the person she became when she could no longer control herself. Despite the fact that Chloe was a wreck the majority of the novel (and who can blame her really) she's easy to fall into step with. I had no problem learning about the time she had lost, right along with her.

      Even the supporting characters are enjoyable. Adam stole my heart, with his outwardly tough demeanor and sweet heart. He isn't your typical "bad boy" character, and I liked that. He was a perfect fit. Then there was Maggie, who quite honestly is the epitome of the friend we all want. I can't say too much more without spoiling anything, but I can promise you that she plays just as important of a role as the other characters. In fact, that's what I liked most. Each character is just as important to the plot as the next.

      I have to admit that I did figure out the plot twist, probably before I was supposed to. However I can happily admit that it didn't take away from my enjoyment of this book at all! It's a solidly built thriller. Even when things slowed down a bit, there were still little clues being thrown out. Pair that with gorgeously built characters, and you have an excellent read. If you're a fan of thrillers, this is a book to check out. I wasn't sure about Six Months Later at first, but it totally hooked me. I know that it will do the same for you!
    • (5/5)
      Six Months Later is a thriller that you can't put down. You have to figure out the mystery behind Chloe's memory lapse. Natalie Richards does a magnificent job of pulling you in, and not letting you go.

      Chloe seems pretty insipid when you first meet her. She's just doing what she can to get by in school. She has no real dreams or inspirations. She likes to have fun, and hang out with her best friend, Maggie. When she wakes up, she doesn't know why she is at the school, or what happened between when she fell asleep and now. She's also confused about why she's turned into this girl that is in the top of her class and applying to colleges. Blake really creeps me out. He's just very stalkerish, and not a genuinely nice person. Adam is awesome. I knew from the moment we meet his character that he was going to be a favorite. He has a shaky past, but you can't help but love him.

      There aren't a ton of scenes of action, but this book does not need it at all. I was gripping the pages as Chloe tries to figure out the timeline that she's obviously missing. She doesn't know who to trust, and what to believe. She can't understand why her and Maggie no longer get along, and why she's hanging with her former crush, Blake. It's unbelievable how the dots start to connecting, and I found myself in shock throughout Six Months Later.

      I love books that keep me guessing, and wondering just what is going on. Six Months Later definitely has that mystery factor. If you want a book that you have no idea what's going on until the end, then this is it for you. I highly recommend this book, and hope to read more from Natalie Richards.
    • (3/5)
      A teenager wakes up to discover she cannot remember anything about the last six months. Moreover, her life has changed unrecognisably: she's no longer talking to her best friend, she's got a boyfriend, she's become a top student...The concept fascinated me and I was prepared to be sympathetic towards Chloe, but I didn't have high hopes for the explanation of her memory loss, which was probably the right attitude to have. (Let's just say that I would have found a more SF explanation to be stronger, rather than trying to be plausible, if only because then I would have been able to suspend disbelief.) This was a quick read, sufficiently diverting, and that was what I wanted.... but I suspect I'm reaching the point of not wanting to read YA unless it's going to blow me away.
    • (5/5)
      I have to admit that Six Months Later surprised me.It sounded like a fun read but ended up being so much more.For most of Six Months Later, I really was not sure what was going on - or even what genre the book would ultimately fit in. All of which I mean in the best way. Sometimes a book is confusing in a bad way, but sometimes it's confusing in a good way which is what happened here.Chloe wakes up having lost six month -- instead of it being almost summer, it's almost Christmas -- and her life has transformed tremendously. As readers we're lost as to what has happened right along with Chloe. Author Natalie D Richards does this really well, too. While the not knowing could, potentially, lead to frustration and turn someone away from the story, here it pulls you in instead. Things are uncovered at just the right pace to keep you guessing, keep you wondering, and hungering for more . . . all while likely battling confusion.The characters also keep things moving very well. The little glimpse we get of the 'before' Chloe makes the 'later' Chloe seem that much more drastic. It's a short introduction but it sets up the relationship between Chloe and Maggie very well. It has you pulling or them through the rest of the book and hoping they can overcome whatever it is that's come between them.There is a lot more of the plot I do want to mention because I loved the twists it took but I loved working it all out, especially finding out the ending. I don't want to risk any spoilers and ruin your fun!Full of fantastic suspense and mystery along with great characters and relationships, Natalie D Richards debut, Six Months Later is one not to miss, no matter which genre you usually prefer.arc read as part of FFBC tour, received thanks to publisher through NG
    • (5/5)
      I really enjoyed Six Months Later. Imagine a row of books that are all in similar shades of pastel, nothing wrong with pastel mind you, but then imagine one that just pops out like a neon light....well that is what Six Months Later was like for me. It just stood out among the many books I have read lately providing such a refreshing and much needed change of pace. Six Months Later is a YA thriller that had the feel of reading a movie to me. One day in study hall, Chloe falls asleep. When she awakens, it is no longer May, but wintertime. There is snow on the ground, it's cold, and it's dark outside. Chloe has a major WTH has happened moment, knowing something is terribly wrong. She has dirt under her fingernails, she isn't wearing the same clothes, and when she checks her cell phone she finds that it is November, six months later than the last thing she remembers. To say she is freaked out is putting it mildly. When she fell asleep, she was your average student, not really too popular, but not in the unpopular crowd either. Now, she finds that not only is she in the popular crowd, she's aced her SAT, her best friend Maggie won't even speak to her, and she's supposedly dating the high school jock Blake, who she has crushed on what seems like forever. Yet when she is around Blake, when he touches her, she can't understand why it totally creeps her out, and why when she sees or is around hottie bad boy Adam Reed, she wants to just melt in a puddle, and feels like he is the only one she can trust. Desperate to find out what has happened, but not wanting to give too much away for fear of being labeled totally nuts and wind up institutionalized, she reveals just enough to her parents to let them know she's having a "memory issue," and begins to try to find out what's happened to her, tries to figure out who she can trust, and also who she can't. As she digs deeper into this mystery it seems that for every answer she finds, she has just as many if not more questions. Chloe knows something is terribly wrong, even dangerous, as she gets closer to finding the truth she seeks. Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, and yes, romance. I totally loved Chloe's character. She is snarky, determined, and her inner dialogue had me laughing so many times. I also really liked hottie bad boy Adam. There was a lot more to him that meets the eye, and the chemistry between him and Chloe was electric. Maggie, Chloe's best friend was really great to, but Blake definitely had the creeper vibe going on. The story is fast paced and kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. I don't want to give too much away, because the mystery is what makes the story so good. I was able to figure out some things, and other things were surprising, as the truth began to unravel. Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, danger, romance, just the right amount of humor, and has that thriller feel that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed it and most definitely would recommend it.
    • (4/5)
      Six Months Later was quite an amazing read! Natalie D. Richards has created a wonderful plot, well developed characters, and a story that will leave you breathless. I cannot recommend Sic Months Later highly enough to fans of mysteries, thrillers, and contemporaries.

      I think the beginning is set up amazingly. The first chapter sucked me in, and then once I got to the second chapter... well let's just say I was a goner. There is a reason I read this book in one sitting. I bet most you will read it like I did, with your eyes glued to the page and the tendency to ignore the things happening around you.

      The characters were very enjoyable. Chloe was, well, kind of a wreck most of the novel, but who could blame her? She forgot six months of her life! Despite that, I liked her very, very much. She was smart, realistic, and an overall memorable character. Adam was another one of my favorite characters! I wasn't too sure about him at first. However, I grew to really like him as we are introduced to him properly. I won't say more for fear of spoilers, but I promise all of you will love him!!!

      I can't not mention Maggie. She was so sweet, and I really felt for her. Maggie is Chloe's former best friend. They were very close, but when Chloe wakes up it seems they are not friends any more, and it seems to be all Chloe's fault. You can see how broken stuttering yet strong Maggie is, and I was rooting for the friendship to be rebuilt the entire time.

      Now, let's mention the plot. Well, long explanation short, it was pure genius. Just... no words. This has been the best mystery/suspense I have read in a while, maybe since I read Rebecca a few months ago! I was kept guessing, which is an enormous treat for me! Even in some of my favorite thrillers, I figure out the twist, no matter how masterful, before the characters. However this was not the case in Six Moths Later!

      Overall, this is a shining diamond! Six Months Later exceeded my already high expectation, and the I was so happy I had the chance to read this book. The novel has such a killer plot and awesome characters! If this book sounds up your alley, go pick the story up!

      4.5/5 Stars
    • (4/5)
      Lots of twists and uncertainties in this one.
    • (3/5)
      Joining a new study group sponsored by a local business did wonders for Chloe's SAT scores and grades. But after a bump on the head, she realizes that she has forgotten everything that happened in the last 6 months and a lot of what is happening feels very wrong.
    • (2/5)
      Chloe joins a study group to help her SAT score, and loses 6 months of memory. She knows that lots of things feel wrong, but she can't figure out what happened to her. I didn't enjoy this book that much, but the ending did help to make it a bit more believable.