“Her shoulders never shook. No tears streamed down her face. The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
A heart-wrenching YA book about two broken teens struggling to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together and finding love along the way.
From the first line of this book, I was drawn right into Echo’s world. With a mentally ill mother, an overly controlling father, and her beloved older brother dead, Echo’s life is far from perfect. Its stifling. And you can totally feel it. The story just grabs at your heart strings.
Noah was an amazing character. He’s a bad boy, but only on the outside. He seems to be that way because that’s what everyone in his life labels him as. A stoner, one-night-stand player, under achiever… thats how the world sees him. But no one sees what led him to become this way. To the depths of his pain and the tragedy of the events in his life.
“ …I could tell he was looking at me. The stubble on his face moved as he smiled. Noah had muscles, looks, and trouble stalking him. Somehow he made jeans and a t-shirt look dangerous. Not that I was into girl-using stoners. Yet, I took another peek at him while sipping my drink.“
He really stole my heart – like all the way! His parents died in an accident a few years back and he and his little brothers were put into the foster system and separated and now he is fighting to get them out of the system and to put whats left of his family back together. Every SINGLE one of his scenes with his little brothers made my cry (a lot) and just made my heart ache with wanting them to be happy.
Both Noah and Echo are intensely angry and miserable in their lives, honestly it was hard to say which one made my heart break more at times. This book is so well written that you understand their frustrations and anger at the systems and rules which are screwing up their lives as though they were your own.
The book is told in alternating POVs with serves to show how different the worlds they come from are. The romantic relationship in this book builds slowly. Its not an undeniable- love-at-first-sight-instant-relationship kind of book. The personal journeys of the characters are the main focus of the storyline although they do end up together 🙂 Both of them have been betrayed by life, and watching them learn to trust each other was really sweet.
“If you’re scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don’t walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here’s the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I’ll try.”
The issues this book deals with are very serious. Abuse. Neglect. Truth. Lies. Love. Healing. The intensity of the bond between siblings. There is nothing lighthearted about this book. Its deeply, gut-wrenchingly emotional. As I was reading, I’d literally have to take mini breathers to calm my heart between some of the scenes.
“Tell me you chose me, Echo.”…
“I chose you.”…
“You will never regret it. I promise.”
I think fans of Slammed might like this book. It’s by no means the same storyline, but it shares a similar feeling. Although its more ‘tame’… very strongly YA.
There were a few things that bugged me a little about the book. Echo’s reliance on her ‘popular’ friends at school and her need for their approval didn’t really sit right with me… but at the same time, I guess it was an understandable feeling for someone in high school. I just wish it hadn’t been so important to her…. And I also would have wished for an epilogue. The book has a happy-for-now ending (and a sequel featuring some of the secondary characters on the way) but after all the heart ache in the book, I still would have liked a glimpse maybe 5 years into the future so see how things had worked out for them.
All in all though, I really loved this read… if you are looking for a new YA book, this is it!
Rating: 4.5 Stars. YA romance. Can standalone.