What do you do when a girl walks into your life and challenges everything you know? You hold onto her and never let go.
WOW!! This book hooked me right from the prologue and I could not put it down until I turned the very last page of the powerful epilogue! It was beautifully written, deeply emotional, and unforgettable. Hunter and Ellison’s story will stay with me for a long time. I loved it!! Do yourself a favor and read this book!
The story begins fifty years into the future. Hunter is now an older man, a genius, who has discovered the cure for cancer and is about to give a speech in front of an entire medical community. He was supposed to talk about the medical accomplishments. But instead he told them the truth of where it started. About a summer when he was 19… and a girl who defied him and stole his heart. It all started because of Ellison…
And then we’re taken back in time to when they first met as he tells us their story.
Hunter had always been highly intelligent and he came from a wealthy family that gave him every physical thing he could want for. But when his drinking and drug taking went too far, his parents sent him to work for his uncle in Florida for a summer — no credit cards, no electronics, nothing — hoping that earning his keep would help teach him a lesson.
Their run-down lifestyle he now was a part of was about as far away from what he was used to as possible, but the real game changer came when he met a girl named Ellison. She defied him at every turn, had a quick temper and wasn’t afraid to use it, was snarky, sassy, and lived life to it’s fullest. She pushed and challenged him to be better. He’d never met anyone like her.
“I don’t want to be one of those people who, at the end of their lives, look back and realize they missed it.”
They came from different worlds, were about as opposite as you could imagine, their time together was limited since he was all set to attend college in the fall in Harvard far far away, and yet despite everything, they slowly grew closer and fell in love. This summer changed the course of their lives…
“You’re only going to be here for a couple of months and then you are heading back to your home. We can be friends, Hunter, but… I don’t like to risk my heart when I know something won’t work out in the end. I’m not a fling. I’m not some girl that’s okay with having fun just for the sake of the moment.”
Trust me when I say that this is not your typical summer romance. Also — I’m just going to say it because I know half of you are thinking it: No, she does not get sick and die over the summer either. M’kay?
I loved seeing Hunter’s transformation from this kid who was headed down a path leading nowhere, borderline addicted to drugs, partying away his lack of will to live… to this guy who fell in love with a girl who gave him a purpose in life. She showed him what there was to live for. And even though she didn’t make it easy, even though she challeneged him at every turn, I think that’s exactly what he needed. I’m not sure any other girl would ever have gotten through to him like that. And most of all, I loved how, when the tables were turned, he never once, not ever, not even for a moment, gave up on her.
“This might be your life, but I’m making it mine as well — because YOU are my life. I don’t give a shit what you say or do. You can ignore me, you can hate me — hell — you can put my picture on a wall and throw darts at it if that’s what makes you feel better, but I’m not going anywhere.”
I read this book start to finish in 2 hours. It’s a full length book (350 pages ish) but I literally just couldn’t put it down and that’s a testament to the story and the writing. This was just one of those books that flowed the whole way through. — That being said, I did find that there were some slower parts in the middle. But that actually made sense given that much of this story took place over the course of a summer and, realistically, no one’s lives are jam packed with drama every day so it felt realistic from that sense.
I absolutely LOVED the ending. L-O-V-E-D it!! The epilogue was hugely emotional!!! I cried. SOBBED!!! It wasn’t tragic though — please don’t be freaked out — and in fact, you could argue that this was indeed the truest form of a HEA. It was powerful beyond words. In some ways, even though the story was very different, it reminded me of The Notebook. I just sat there with tears literally pouring down my face. But I’d consider it non-tragic sobbing. You know what I mean? I was honestly SO happy with the way it ended.
I’m always on a search for books that not only tell a good story, but that also make me FEEL that story with all my heart. This was one of those books. I highly recommend it!
“My lips fell on hers and I kissed her with everything that I had. I told her I loved her with that kiss, I told her I would protect her, that I would care for her and that I would fight for her every fucking day if that’s what it took for me to be with her.”
Rating: 4.5 stars!! Standalone romance.