Review and Giveaway: The Tension of Opposites

When Tessa’s best friend Noelle disappears right before the start of eighth grade, Tessa’s life changes completely–she shies away from her other friends and stops eating in the cafeteria. Now, two years later, Noelle has escaped her captivity and is coming home, in one piece but not exactly intact, and definitely different. Tessa’s life is about to change again as she tries to revive the best-friendship the two girls had shared before Noelle–now Elle–was kidnapped; puts up a futile resistance to the charming new guy at school; pursues her passion for photography while trying to build the bravado to show her photos to the public; and tries to balance her desire to protect and shelter Elle with the necessity to live her own life and put herself first.–From Amazon

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride was a Waiting on Wednesday pick recently. It was released today (but I got my copy yesterday). If you’re on Twitter, go wish @McBrideKristina a happy book birthday. I read the book almost straight through; McBride jumps right into the thick of things, and the pace of the story makes it hard to put down.

The book lived up to my expectations, and its title, by offering a balance of light and dark elements. Given the book’s focus on photography, it is appropriate that it has its own sense of chiaroscuro. The edginess of Noelle’s kidnapping and return are contrasted by the normalcy of Tessa and Max’s relationship and other typical high school melodrama. I enjoyed both sides of the book, and only wish that there was more!

Considering the recent sentencing of Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper, this book offers a timely message that children who are kidnapped are often kept alive and depend on their own smarts and the vigilance of others to gain freedom. Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard are both excellent examples of people like Noelle who were forced to live with their captors for years before escaping, and like Noelle, they show that there are strong psychological repercussions of kidnapping that must be dealt with in the aftermath.

I liked that the book was told from the perspective of Tessa rather than Noelle. I was curious about why McBride made that choice, and glad that the question was answered in an interview at The Hiding Spot: Interview with McBride. There’s another great interview at Authors Now: Author Spotlight on McBride. The second interview, which is particularly helpful for those who might want to use this book in a classroom or book McBride for a speaking engagement, also features a giveaway. I’ll include the details for my giveaway below, but it doesn’t hurt to enter there for another chance to win The Tension of Opposites.

Even beyond the writing, this is a gorgeous book. I’m in love with the cover, and the chapter header images and scene separators are also quite lovely. These all tie in to the element of photography within the book, as Tessa often uses her hobby to hide behind the lens rather than face the real world. Readers who are interested in this element might also enjoy Flash Burnout.

Though it pains me a little bit to give away my copy, I’d like to pass it on to another reader. This contest is not going to last long, because I’d like the next reader to get the book fairly close to the release date. I hope whoever wins will consider sharing the book with somebody else after they are done reading. See details for the giveaway below.

The Tension of Opposites Giveaway Details: Contest Ends at 12:01 AM on June 12

  • To enter, leave a comment with two words that are opposites (antonyms). Try to make them unique, not something that has been left in a previous comment.
  • For extra entries, you can tweet or blog about this giveaway. (Or use whatever other social networking site you prefer.) Leave a link for each mention in separate comments for them to be counted.
  • One commenter will be randomly chosen by to win a hardcover copy of the book.
  • Make sure you leave a way for me to reach you if you win.
  • This contest is U.S. only.
  • You must be 13 or older to enter.
  • While you do not have to become a member or subscriber to win this contest, I would encourage you to do so in order to get information about some other upcoming giveaways I have planned.
  • I would also like to add a reminder that the Gimme a Call Giveaway is still going until June 1.

The winner of this giveaway was announced here.


38 Responses to "Review and Giveaway: The Tension of Opposites"

  • Antonyms: life + death

    1 Alice said this (May 25, 2010 at 10:26 PM)

  • Giant Small

    2 Crystal said this (May 27, 2010 at 8:09 AM)

  • Antonyms: Friend, enemy.

    Can contact me at:

    3 Charchelar said this (May 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM)

  • Tweet:

    Can contact me at:

    4 Charchelar said this (May 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM)

  • Beauty and brutality




    5 Okapi said this (May 27, 2010 at 1:12 PM)

  • Okapi, since you tweeted, that counts as two entries. Will use this one as a placeholder for your second.

    Thanks everyone who has entered so far!

    6 Melanie said this (May 27, 2010 at 3:33 PM)

  • Apathy and Empathy.


    7 Ashley said this (May 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM)

  • +1 Sidebar at

    Thanks! booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

    8 Ashley said this (May 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM)

  • obnoxious and charming 😀

    9 Melissa said this (May 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM)

  • Lost and Found:)

    Thanks for this contest! I would really love to win:)


    10 Sylvia said this (May 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM)

  • How about knowledge and ignorance.

    11 Johnny said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:12 PM)

  • Antonyms: chaos and order

    Thanks for the giveaway! Hope to read this book.

    12 Elise said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:20 PM)

  • Extra entry:

    Your giveaway is on my blog Sidebar under other giveaways:


    13 Elise said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM)

  • My antonyms are fiction and non-fiction.

    dakotasky55 at gmail dot com

    14 Dakota said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:31 PM)

  • Antonyms: Truth and Lie



    15 Diana said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:34 PM)

  • Day and Night.


    16 Shishito said this (June 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM)

  • Great book giveaway! Excited about this one!

    Antonyms – Empty and Full.

    bookswapper5 at yahoo dot com

    17 Jennifer said this (June 2, 2010 at 5:00 PM)

  • I will say happy and sad. Thanks!


    18 Jessica said this (June 2, 2010 at 5:05 PM)

  • Young and Old!


    19 Krystal said this (June 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM)

  • True & False

    20 Kate said this (June 3, 2010 at 12:58 PM)

  • Antonyms: Create, Distroy.
    Allison Tielking

    21 AllisonTielking said this (June 3, 2010 at 6:00 PM)

  • Thanks for the contest. I was never good at those things. I will go with Night – Day 🙂


    22 Jessica E (Bookaholic) said this (June 4, 2010 at 4:09 PM)

  • Extra entry

    On my blog sidebar

    23 Jessica E (Bookaholic) said this (June 4, 2010 at 4:10 PM)

  • Extra entry

    Posted on twitter

    24 Jessica E (Bookaholic) said this (June 4, 2010 at 6:13 PM)

  • Thank you for the fun contest.

    sweet and sour

    You can reach me at readingvacation (at)

    25 Melina said this (June 4, 2010 at 6:14 PM)

  • Bella (twilight), and Rose (vampire academy)

    26 Brandi said this (June 5, 2010 at 1:23 PM)

  • Ancient and modern are my antonyms.

    lovelyserenity21 at gmail dot com

    27 Julianne said this (June 6, 2010 at 6:04 PM)

  • Artificial and Natural

    rdngloria at gmail dot com

    28 Gloria said this (June 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM)

  • I will say discourage and encourage.

    foreverjanine at gmail dot com

    29 Janine said this (June 6, 2010 at 6:08 PM)

  • Freedom, Captivity.

    ocnwaves32 AT gmail DOT com

    30 Cynthia said this (June 6, 2010 at 6:09 PM)

  • Optimist and Pessimist.

    razorfire7 at gmail dot com

    31 Rodger said this (June 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM)

  • Past and Present
    pumachk at gmail dot com

    32 Marie said this (June 6, 2010 at 7:29 PM)

  • Antonyms:
    Visible and Invisible

    azndrmr2 at gmail dot com

    33 Tammy said this (June 6, 2010 at 7:31 PM)

  • My antonyms are minority and majority.

    violetvortexkm at gmail dot com

    34 Kim said this (June 6, 2010 at 7:32 PM)

  • I subscribed to you ! Thank you for this amazing contests !

    My two words are :

    Infatuation & Detestation


    35 lostinbelieving said this (June 10, 2010 at 6:33 PM)

  • I would love to win this book. I have been wanting to read this one!

    My antonyms are: horizontal and vertical.

    devinjade8 at gmail dot com

    36 Devin said this (June 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM)


    salty and sweet

    37 Angela said this (June 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM)

  • thanks for this giveaway!!

    long and short


    38 Rica said this (June 12, 2010 at 7:51 PM)