“Whoever said that love hurts was wrong. Love is excruciating, especially when you can feel it slipping through your fingers and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Why did the story have to end there?????? WHY??!?! OK, so this is all actually totally my fault. I knew what the ending was and that it was a horrible cliffhanger before I started reading this but it still punched me in the gut!! Dear. Lord. *sniffle*
Frustrated by her shallow, controlling and uncaring filthy-rich parents, Emily just wants to be out on her own. Her older brother died a few years ago (drug overdose) and so she leaves her family (refusing to take their money) to strike out on her own, living near the cemetery where he is buried. She keeps running into this guy near the cemetery who tried warning her to stay away, to move away, but of course she doesn’t listen and at the same time is very intrigued by him.
“There was no doubt in my mind that this boy was odd and beautiful – a dangerous combination. Something about his guardedness, something about the way others in the projects had looked at his with fear, made me think I should probably run the other way next time and concentrate on not thinking about him.”
One day, while out on a run, she gets caught in the rain and, while taking shelter in the cemetery witnesses a brutal murder committed by the guy she kept running into and passes out. When she wakes up, she is thrown into a world she never expected to know – filled with drug lords, gangs, hideouts, territory wars, and secrets about her brother and the life he was really involved in… She is held captive in a house in the country but finds herself falling in love with Cameron, the guy from the cemetery who had been watching her, who committed the brutal crime, who kidnapped her and is apparently just trying to keep her safe and also falling in love with her. But in that world, happily-ever-afters don’t come too easily.
“How long are you going to keep me here?” I drowsily continued.
Cameron pulled the glass out of my numbed hands and set it on the table next to me. “For as long as it takes.”
“And what are you going to do with me?” This came out as a whisper. My eyes were barely slit open.
Cameron paused on this question. He scanned my face, like the answer was written somewhere between the freckles.
“I don’t know”
First off, I should say that I went into this book expecting it to be quite dark, but it really wasn’t. I was pretty surprised by that. I mean, the subject matter is serious, but even though she is held captive, its in a fully furnished house, she is allowed a lot of freedom to go around the grounds as she pleases, talk to anyone, swim in the pool with everyone, make dinner etc… its not like its a dark and twisty kidnapping (not that I’m justifying it or anything, it just wasn’t quite what I thought it would be) and the “bad guys” aren’t evil or mean or cruel.. they are just involved in some shady business.
This book really blurs the line between right and wrong… What if a good person did something technically wrong but for the right reasons and in a situation where it was, in many ways, the only solution. Does that make them a bad person? Can you still fall in love with them? Can a relationship in a world where that life is necessary work?
From the start of the book, Cameron was a total mystery. He seemed to be always fighting against himself. On the outside, he seemed cold and harsh, but pieces of his softer, caring personality kept peeking through revealing his true nature and drawing the line between the person he wanted to be and the person his position made him have to be.
I’ll admit it, I got Stockholm Syndrome. I totally fell in love with him… and despite their less-than-ideal circomstances, I could really see a solution where things worked out for them and then the ending!!!!! aaarrrgh!! WHY?? *grumbles about noble idiots*
“Everything was different between Cameron and me. What I felt wasn’t just mind games or some fabricated syndrome. What I felt for him, I had seen him, felt him feel for me too. I was sure of this.”
Emily and Cameron very much have a forbidden love. In his world, loved ones are liabilities and almost always get hurt or killed. And the more she learns about him, the more she begins to understand his world and why he is involved in it.
“You’ll probably die if you stay with me,” he told me.
“Then I’m dead either way, because I won’t survive without you.”
There were, however, several discrepancies in the book that make me squint at it skeptically but overall the story was good and so I was able to make myself accept them as part of the world. But don’t read too deeply into the details. If you think about them too hard, a lot of the stuff that happens (especially in the first 60%) can be a little unbelievable or questionable. I had a lot of moments where I kind of just shook my head, put away my thoughts on the matter and just accepted what I read in order to not take myself away from the story line… Unfortunately though, I can’t really talk about them without giving spoilers. And I kind of wavered back and forth on how much they bothered me… but then, I had to put the book down while I went to work and found myself thinking about it all day and realized that despite all that, I was really sucked into the story and the fact that it made me care about the characters like that was definitely a good sign. But I’d say that that was the primary reason for not rating the book higher. Well, that and also I would have wanted more steam. The love scenes were very tame, even for a YA book, and were all fade-to-black.
The story was actually relatively light until about 65% and then there were a series of twists I didn’t see coming…. and the ending had me in serious emotional knots! (although, I didn’t get misty eyes or cry throughout the whole book)
That being said, its not an anti-HEA ending… it definitely leaves room for things to work out in a swoony HEA in the sequel, but for now… ARRRRGHHHHH!!!!!
Edit: the sequel has now been released.
Rating: 4 stars
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