The Locket - Stacey Jay

2.5 stars. "’Wow ... That was wow.’ [...] Usually that was all it took to make everything in me light up. At the moment, however, it only made me feel vaguely canine, like a cute puppy Isaac adored but didn’t totally consider his equal. But then I wasn’t his equal."
Always-only-understudy Drama geek Katie Mottola has had her two best male friends since she had been six years old: Golden, popular and sportsy Isaac, who is one grade above, and lanky, quiet and rock-bandy Mitch from next door. But eventually Katie and Isaac went down the couple road while Mitch stayed only the sweet, but overlooked childhood buddy, and by the time of her relationship’s three-year-anniversary all Kate wishes for is that it lasts forever. For Isaac basketball always comes first and standing up his girlfriend for various sports-based reasons is part of his normal operating mode, but Katie is happy, she really is – as long as he still plans to marry her like he promised to when they started having sex a year ago.
Katie is the kind of ueber-dependent girl who only shines because of her boyfriend’s glory and who believes herself to be plain and untalented and thus lucky to have a popular guy’s lasting attention.

When I witnessed how Isaac loads ‘his girl’ into his car only to be able to throw her out again in the middle of nowhere during a raging thunderstorm, being perfectly aware of the fact that she never bothered to take her mobile on dates with him - he is the only one who calls her anyway -, because he is upset about a rumour he had been fed, which involved Katie and Mitch kissing at a party he did not choose to attend, and does not give her a chance to defend herself or explain, I knew exactly what was wrong and twisted with the heroine’s perception of love, relationships, friendship and herself. But I had to wait until the 80% mark had been crossed for backward-pedalling Katie to catch up on the idea that being a doormat is too high a price to pay for eternally staying together with somebody who accidentally happened to be your first love.

Still, as a whole, I liked the message of the story: When you are handed a second chance wasting it on cowering and passively avoiding the obstacles that did you in the first time around won’t do you any good. You have to seek the confrontation. You have to stand up for yourself and your friends. You have to tackle the problem. For if you don’t there will be other, new bad things that will just ‘happen’ to you while you watch helplessly.

What I really admired about [b:The Locket’s time-travelling concept was that using the Locket a mute, but persistent Mephisto-like device, which refuses to come off after its clasp has been closed, and which ‘suggests’ using its powers by becoming scalingly hot at difficult times in the wearer’s life was not a ‘scientific’ means to go back into the past and tamper with it Marty-McFly-style, but a decision to succumb to black magic. For although the moment in time the wearer returns to is a matter of choice, the randomly different variant of her own life the traveller is handed to deal with is not. Katie encounters versions of her past that add a previously not existent stepbrother to Mitch’s family, turn her ivy-league-university-headed tutor into a drug-addicted slob, chance her curriculum and other aspects of high school and leave her completely in the dark concerning what she had said or done to others before that moment she has returned to. Resorting to employ the locket’s strange power turned out to be as reliable and as rewarding as playing Russian Roulette. Like making debts to pay a debt one desperate foray into the past makes the next one unavoidable. Our 'heroine' Katie has to learn this lesson the hard way. But finally she realises that tampering with your future by changing your attitude in the present beats making things unhappen in the past.

My verdict concerning The Locket is: A really nice idea, some great motti, but an almost unbearably painful execution. Choose for yourself and choose well.