“The corners of his lips tug up into a sad smile. “I can handle scars, especially ones that are on the outside.”
This was a quiet yet beautiful read about two survivors of abuse beginning to find trust and healing in each other. I really enjoyed it despite have my heart ripped to shreds by the HUGE BRUTAL CLIFFHANGER at the end!!! I’m not even kidding. It. Is. Brutal!!
This book really highlights the horrors of childhood abuse of all kinds and the lasting damage inflicted on its victims. The story has got a very gentle, quiet feel to it, but at the same time, really draws you into it.
“I want to find out what it’s like to be touched by someone I trust; someone I gave my permission to.”
Can I just say first how much I adore books with clear cut, chapter-by-chapter alternating POVs? Its like you literally get the absolute, complete story from both sides without ever wondering who’s eyes you’re seeing the world through. Its like a full immersion into the character’s mind.
Callie was a quiet, shy characters who had withdrawn into herself away from the world after what happened to her one horrible night many years ago. And Kayden was this gorgeous, totally swoonilicious guy, scarred on both the inside and the outside, who she hadn’t really spoken to since the sixth grade when she suddenly cut off all her hair and lost all her friends. He had spent his whole life living in fear of his father’s hand and being made to feel like absolute dirt. Given the mindset he grew up in, he keeps himself in a meaningless relationship – one he knows is meaningless – because he doesn’t feel worthy of more.
But when a coincidence leads Callie to save Kayden one night, both their lives are changed.
But after their encounter, Kayden dreams of her, feels protective of her, and wants her even though he holds himself back – unable to believe he could deserve her. But the more time they spend together away from their homes, away from the memories of hurt, the closer they get, the stronger their trust builds and together, they begin to heal.
“I trusted him once and I decide to do it again. I just pray to God he doesn’t shove me down and break me, because I’m already in too many pieces and I just don’t know how much more breaking I can take.“
I’ll admit, I did really love this book right from the beginning but it is VERY slow building. I mean, really! Its not a bad thing at all. But you should just know that going in.
Honestly at about half way through, I was enjoying it but I was wondering a little bit where the huge ‘wow factor’ was that everyone was talking about…
But then the angst started to build and build and the ending just hit me. Hard. No, I should say it CRASHED into me!
HOLY. FREAKING. CLIFFHANGER!!! It almost felt like it was half a book. I kept flipping forward, sure there must be more pages that were missing! In some ways, I wish I had waited to read both of them back-to-back because, right now, my heart is just aching not knowing what happens!
This book touches of domestic, physical and sexual abuse and its long term impact on the everyday life of its survivors. On people who aren’t broken by it, just damaged and yet still are functional people. It gave the story a depth and a realistic feel to it because of how non-exaggerated it was. It was subtle, quiet even, but you felt it. You really felt it. This book didn’t ever give me that heart-racing feeling (except at the end when I was freaking out, but that’s different), and yet I still felt quite connected to the characters and really enjoyed the book.
I’m not going to give any spoilers here at all regarding the cliffhanger but, without any details, I’ll say that I wondered a bit about the circumstances around the ending scene for a while after I read it. I wasn’t sure why a certain character would have done what they did. But then the more I thought about it, the more I understood it. It was a ‘real’ decision. Not a storybook perfect one, a real one. Probably the wrong call if you were to get all judge-y and to look back on it but still, life isn’t perfect. Sometimes in life you make the wrong calls. Sometimes you can’t and don’t correctly predict what someone’s reactions will be. And sometimes you pay the price…
Rating: 4+ stars.
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