Damage Done

Damage Done Book Cover Damage Done
Amanda Panitch
Juvenile Fiction
Random House Books for Young Readers

"Exceedingly clever and surprisingly unsettling, Damage Done is an unforgettable read." --Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made for You "In her incredible debut novel, Amanda Panitch leaves you on the edge of your seat. Prepare to be stunned. Prepare to be torn apart." --Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist "A brilliant thriller. Gillian Flynn for the YA set." --Amy Christine Parker, author of Gated 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, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother's crimes were behind her. But now she's being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean? One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It's only just beginning. . . . In this deliciously twisted contemporary thriller, family can be a real killer. For fans of We Were Liars and readers who love unique multiple perspectives that leave clues like breadcrumbs until they reach the stunning conclusion. From the Hardcover edition.



“Damage Done” is a book I expected to enjoy if the description was any indication, but I had no idea just how far beyond my expectations it would go.  It’s the perfect blend of mystery, thriller, and to be quite honest, “messed up.”

Julia Vann is living a new life after a horrific crime committed by her twin brother, Ryan.  The story is told in her voice, which is very well-written and easy to read.  While her circumstances are extraordinary, she is going through many things that are relatable to anyone who has been a teenager: crushes, social cliques, distant parents, and assorted other annoying adults.  She’s definitely a narrator that leaves the reader wanting to know more.

The plot is perfectly paced with small flashbacks to the past written in with what is currently happening.  To add a bit of an outside view, there are a few notes from Ryan’s psychologist added between some of the chapters.  It allows the reader to learn the entire story at a slow pace, or if they prefer playing detective, gives enough clues and room between them for many theories to be developed.

Be warned:  The book is quite disturbing and does have graphic violence as well as animal deaths.  I believe that none of it was gratuitous in terms of the story and was a necessity in establishing the pattern of a growing sociopath.  I can’t say much else without spoilers, but if you’re squeamish this is not the book for you.

I definitely recommend “Damage Done” for all adults and older young adults who like twisted thrillers and mysteries with a good dose of psychology.  Please take note of the older above.  It isn’t a good choice at all for the younger YA readers.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

Language, Graphic Violence, Sexual Situations, Animal Abuse


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