I need a huge band-aid to hold my heart together after reading this wonderful, wonderful book. I’m DYING to start book two, in this three book series. In fact, I’m forcing myself to finish this review before I’m allowing myself to continue because I know if I don’t, you won’t see me for the next few days while I’m consumed with Emma and Evan’s world. Be prepared… the unspeakable cruelty, endearing friendships, and young love captured in this novel are going to leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what could possibly happen next. You’re going to flinch, you’re going to cry, and you’ll definitely smile. The cruelty and abuse in this book is shocking, disturbing and probably all too common an occurrence in the real world, which just makes me so damn sad. I give huge thumbs up to the author for taking on such an emotional subject and really doing it justice. Everything about this book feels like a work of art masterfully created to give you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
I felt connected to Emma Thomas from page one. Emma isn’t your typical good girl, perfect student, and star athlete. She has secrets, huge secrets. The kind of secrets that leave physical and emotional wounds that may heal but will never go away. Her closed off personality leaves her with one red-headed best friend, Sara, who is amazing at helping her through her difficult life. Emma doesn’t socialize, keeps her head down and just wants to make it through high school with some kind of soccer scholarship so she can finally live a life that’s her own. Emma is a warrior. Emma lives with her Aunt Carol and Uncle George because her father has passed away and her mother is a drunk. Auntie Carol deserves to rot in a cell. And that’s me putting it nicely. Uncle George needs to be stripped of his manhood because he doesn’t deserve to be called a man after letting Carol do the things she does. I have serious deep-seated contempt for these two sub-humans. Now you may think I have just spoiled what Emma’s secret is, and I may have a little bit, but trust me when I say that this bit of a spoiler will not prepare you for what happens to Emma. It’s beyond words and leaves you with a sick feeling in your gut.
Enter the amazingly patient Evan. Evan is a breathe of fresh air in the world of hero’s. He is patient, kind and so devoted to Emma that it makes me tear up. He knows something isn’t right with Emma’s home life but she won’t open up to him. So he stays patient, never giving up, and remains just her friend. It was hard to see Emma push Evan away and then pull him back in, repeatedly. I felt bad for him. Emma just wanted to keep herself safe and that was what she thought was best but it really hurts Evan. I do have an issue with Evan and Sara’s choices in some parts of this book. In order not to spoil the ending, I won’t be specific about which choices they made that frustrated me but I’m sure after you’ve read it, you’ll be able to figure it out.
Thank goodness I have books two and three on my Kindle ready to go, because this book ending comes out of left field and socks you in the gut. I seriously wasn’t expecting it and it left me with my jaw on the floor and goosebumps covering my body. I can’t wait to dive in to Barely Breathing and hopefully my fears will be calmed. Something tells me I might be shedding some more tears before this is all over. I know the subject matter isn’t going to be for everyone but this is seriously one of the best books I’ve read in a while and I hope you give it a chance!
My rating: 4.5 heartbreaking stars!
You can find out all about Rebecca Donovan and purchase her books here:
About the Author:
Jen loves to read. She can’t stop herself. It’s become an obsession. She is in love with her husband, kids, iced coffee and books. Jen lives in beautiful Colorado but is originally from the West Coast.