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Oh my gosh. What an adorable, yet heartbreaking, story. I went through every emotion available without even realizing it, and in the end I was mad at myself for thinking poorly on some characters, while others I realized I still felt the same about..no matter their past situation.
This is a story of horrible circumstances overshadowed with hope and longing. Oh little Nick, my heart goes out to you. Nick, son of Frank Anderson-the town drunk, is outcast because of his father. In walks Alix, the daughter of a well-respected family, to his rescue. When Alix sees Nick and what he has endured at the hands of his father, she knows she needs to save him…without him actually knowing she is trying to save him.
She reaches out to him when no one else ever has, and starts a life long friendship that is so strong, nothing anyone says can separate them. With years of heartwarming encounters and defending against bullies, their bond grows stronger.
When friendship turns into something stronger, more binding, curious flirting and exploration of their feelings arise. Their relationship takes the next step, with definite complications, and I couldn’t help but to be so angry with every obstacle that comes about (or maybe the person who seemed to be the biggest obstacle is what made me so angry..yup…that’s about it). I know-it’s written in the synopsis, but after EVERYTHING they went through, it’s STILL a punch in the gut. My heart tore in half for poor Alix, losing her innocence with every unfortunate event that arose; her inner monologue brought me to tears multiple times, even after I thought the worst thing that could happen happened.
Betrayal, heartbreak, true love, trust, loss, faith, and determination are the trials Alix and Nick must face in this well executed and beautifully written novel, and I felt every single one of these experiences to my core. I have to say it-THE PENDANT..oooohh the pendant-by far my most favorite scene in the book includes this pendant. Absolutely frikkin’ adorable. My heart, no my soul, warmed so immensely I had to stop and ponder what was happening for a second; it was just so unexpected.
So if you are looking for a well-written and heartwarming story to read, you will love this. It takes you to the brink with your emotions, yes you have to go through some tough situations to get to the “core of the sweet gum tree”, but it is worth it and you will feel better for being a part of this lovely journey.