Damage Done

Damage Done

Damage Done

by Amanda Panitch

Genre: YA Mystery
Published: July 21st 2015
by Random House




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.


Ever since I read Dangerous Girls, I have been on a mission to find a book that measures up to its unpredictability and clever plotting. While Damage Done isn’t quite as mind blowing as Dangerous Girls, it comes extremely close.

When Ryan enters the band room, he kills eleven of his fellow classmates before finally pointing the gun at himself. Only one person lives to tell the story of what happened in the band room that day: Ryan’s twin sister, Julia.

Traumatized by everything that has happened, Julia moves to a new town and changes her name, hoping to put the shooting behind her and to get a fresh start. But to get a fresh start, Julia must confront to the truth of what happened the day of the shooting.

Julia is one of the most well-written and complex protagonists I’ve come across. It’s clear that she is extremely unreliable and that she has much to hide, and that she knows more about the shooting than she says she does.

The mystery is intelligently thought-out and wonderfully written. You’re continually turning pages wondering what is going to happen next, and when the truth is revealed at the end everything suddenly comes together. While some of the aspects of the mystery are admittedly a little predictable, everything else is completely unpredictable. View Spoiler »

All in all, this is one of the most intelligently plotted and twisted mysteries I’ve read since Dangerous Girls. I can’t recommend it enough.


41 thoughts on “Damage Done

    1. Finding something as shocking as Dangerous Girls is my life mission TBH. I haven’t found anything quite that shocking, but this definitely comes close. Thank you! 🙂

  1. I absolutely loved this one too Zoe, basically because of Julia. You can see that she’s manipulative and unreliable as a narrator, but holy shit it was explosive! Such a brilliant review Zoe and this one is so hard to discuss with those who haven’t read it as the thrill is in the surprise of unraveling the storyline yourself. Thrilled you love this one too and wonderful review <3

  2. EXCUSE ME DID YOU JUST SAY THIS CAME CLOSE TO DANGEROUS GIRLS?!?!?? *immediately adds it on goodreads* I think I’ve vaguely heard of it, but not really thought twice about it but omg now I need. Intelligently plotted mysteries with grand twists???? SERIOUSLY. WHERE IS THIS BOOK. I NEED IT.

    1. IT DID, CAIT! It gave DG a run for its money, which, frankly, I wasn’t expecting- so that ended up being a pleasant surprise! I hope you’re able to find a copy of this and that you like it as much as I did!

  3. I’ve been going back and forth on this one (mainly because of Dangerous Girls) and I read a lot of same-ish ones, and once you’ve read one, it ruins everything, haha. I still want to read it (though I think I know what the spoiler is), but I’m a suckerfor anything compared to Dangerous Girls. 😉

  4. Oh wow, I had no idea this book had such a dark concept. It comes close to Dangerous Girls? That’s quite the compliment, especially coming from you!! I’m quickly becoming a fan of mysteries even though I don’t have the mind for solving them xD Great review, Z <3

  5. This sounds really cool! I’m glad you liked it – I never would have picked it up just based on the cover (I’m such a cover snob, I know!) and the first part of the blurb but from reading you’re review, I feel like I might like this! I certainly haven’t read many mysterious books this year yet! Lovely review!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  6. I haven’t read either this or Dangerous Girls yet, but I’ve heard incredible things about Dangerous Girls, and I definitely need to pick it up soon! Ooh, this sounds incredible too! I usually love mysteries, so I think this book is something I would love.

    Lovely review, Zoe! <3

    1. Both books are absolutely amazing and so, so unpredictable and twisted. If you’re a mystery fan, these will be right up your alley Maisha. Let me know if you end up getting a copy of this, okay? 🙂

  7. I NEED to read this book. I have heard such amazing things, and I LOVE that the protagonist is so well written. This type of book can be hit or miss with me, depending on how well I can connect, so this sounds VERY promising. Thanks for the fabulous review, I hope to get to read it sooN!

    1. Thank YOU for the lovely comment Shannon! I have a feeling you’d really like this one. Let me know if you ever end up getting a copy of it, okay? 🙂

    1. If you’re a fan of mysteries, definitely make sure to give this one a try Anissa. It’s amazing! And thank you! I’m so glad to hear that. 🙂

  8. I still haven’t read Dangerous Girls *cries* but Nick gifted it to me (about 2 years ago? lol) so I totes goats need to make time for this brilliance <3 I'm so glad you ended up enjoying this one! Omg. This sounds like a traumatic and mysterious yet emotional story. I'm glad you loved Julia so much! I think unreliable narrators can go both ways, so I hope I will love her too. I'm glad you found the mystery great 🙂 Lovely review, Zoe!

    1. YES YOU DO, SIIRI. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? They’re both absolutely amazing and I hope you end up enjoying them as much as I did. 🙂 Thank you! <3

  9. Oooh, I’ve seen this one at the library but wasn’t sure about it! If you say it’s half as good as Dangerous Girls, it’d be worth a shot. You should try out Rebecca James, an Aussie author who writes similarly compelling thrillers too!

    1. Anything a tenth as good as Dangerous Girls is worth reading – haha. 😉 Hope you end up liking this as much as I did if you decide to pick it up! And ooh – thanks for the rec! Definitely going to look into her books now. 🙂

  10. Is that a Dangerous Girls comparison I see? You definitely know how to sell me on a book. 🙂 And Julia sounds like such a wonderful character to read about – I’m intrigued now, even if this book isn’t quite as amazing as Dangerous Girls. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll have to check it out!

    1. It is! And haha…I try. 😉 Definitely give this one a try Emily – if you liked Dangerous Girls this is quite similar. And thank you for the lovely comment. 🙂

  11. So, I have not read this, nor have I read Dangerous Girls. Thrillers aren’t usually my thing, so I figured it’d be safe to check the spoiler…and then HOLY WOW, I can’t imagine what a crazy, complex whirlwind of a book this might be if THAT is one of the plot twists. Thanks for sharing, Zoe! 🙂

    1. Even if thrillers aren’t usually your thing, still consider giving this a try Taylor. It’s amazing (as you can see from the plot twist – haha). Thank you for the lovely comment! <3

  12. I have been looking like a book like Dangerous Girls since I finished it!!! I am now desperate to read this one, as it comes quite close to the awesomeness that was Dangerous Girls. I will definitely be putting this on my wishlist for when I have money for books. Thanks for the review 🙂

    1. It is my life’s mission to find something as twisted and brilliant as DG, and this comes really close! If you liked DG, definitely give this a try Charnell. 🙂 Thank you for the lovely comment!

  13. I actually read this book a while ago, and I definitely have to agree with you on all of your points. I particularly liked the depth and complexity the author gave Julia, and she certainly was an extremely unreliable narrator, which only made the book more interesting.

    I definitely need to pick up Dangerous Girls, which I’ve actually borrowed from the library before but never managed to get round to it before I had to return it 🙁

    I really love your blog theme and the look of your reviews btw! The image of the 3D cover is particularly nice 😀

    1. So glad you liked it as much as I did Paul! And Julia was one of the best unreliable narrators I’ve read about. You knew she was hiding something, and that made everything so much more interesting. And if you liked this, you’re going to LOVE Dangerous Girls. Definitely do give it a try.

      And thank you for the kind words – that means a lot! xD

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