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From the author of Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are comes a gripping story about one girl’s search for clues into the mysterious death of her father.
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
We’re all lost in different ways, so how do we even help each other find our way out. We won’t. We can’t. We’ll just stay lost forever.
Wow. Just all the feels. All the feels in the world. It’s no secret I adore this author and would face a throw down in the Hunger Games to get another of her books in my hands, but I don’t think I could possibly portray just how deeply her books touch me. It’s not because I have all these dark inner thoughts and need a book like this to feel like someone is actually reaching me-No, what gets to me is the idea that I might have these dark thoughts…and no one would even know about it. Courtney Summers doesn’t hide from the harsher parts of life. All her books deal with inner turmoil in one way or another, but you never ONCE feel as though you are reading a suffocating story-it feels like any other book laced with humor and boys and parties and high school. But the kicker is that you are living your life in someone else’s shoes. Someone’s shoes that don’t have it as easy as you do. Someone who might just feel like they are dying inside but play the part every day like they are fine…when in fact they are slowly losing pieces of themselves each day that passes. These stories make you wonder just how much you know about those around you. Her books are that kind of powerful.
I imagine forcing myself farther down, until I feel weeds everywhere, brushing the sides of my arms, my feet, and then I’m surrounded. Tangled up in them so bad the lake would have me forever. I imagine drowning and what that would feel like, if I’d be scared. If I’d let it happen or if I’d fight it. I read in a book once you can’t drown yourself. Your body will fight to survive, whether you want to or not.
But I don’t think it’s the same when you jump.
My biggest question has nothing to do with this book-why why WHY don’t more people read this woman’s books?? They are beautiful and profound and they aren’t your every day drivel and formula we all have memorized and rehearsed-they actually have strong messages that give you feels in ways you never imagined possible. She expands your mind to a point you didn’t even realize existed. This is a book about suicide? I couldn’t even tell. I was hypnotized, as always, from page one when I got a glimpse of Summer’s words again.
No author speaks to me the way this one does. We get romance, which I love, but it isn’t solely driven by that. I get emotional and obsessed with every aspect of the story, giving me these deep rooted feels I didn’t even know existed outside of romance. And I don’t see why more people haven’t latched onto her work like a life boat. I’ve felt like I have been drowning lately over the books I’ve read (not in a good way), slowly sinking into a depression where I didn’t think I’d fall hard for a book for a long time. But thank God I saved the last available Summers book up until this moment-I feel as though I’ve been air-lifted out of my funk, which brings no short amount of humor to my attention, in that this book had such dark matter…but that’s the point-it all mattered to me. And I guess that’s all I’ve been wanting-to actually care.
I catch sight of myself in the mirror and realize my father will never see me like this. I am becoming a person my father will never get to know.
A touching story where a girl feels betrayed after her father commits suicide, leaving no evidence as to why he chose to do so-causing her to grasp for more, any kind of more, to help with the whys and the hows and the whens. A journey where a girl is so desperate for answers she continually searches and strives for anything she can find….and then she meets a guy who might just know more than she does about what happened that night. Her best friend, Milo, learns about this and becomes protective and concerned and…jealous? Could he possibly be jealous? They’ve been best friends since second grade and ever since her father’s death, he has been worried sick about her and her well-being. He would do pretty much anything for her….even help her to figure out what’s going on with mystery guy and the clues he found from her father…even when he thinks she should just try to live and move on.
Sometimes I feel hunted by my grief. It circles me, stalks me. It’s always in my periphery. Sometimes I can fake it out. Sometimes I make myself go so still, it can’t sense that I’m there anymore and it goes away. I do that right now.
I go so still the thing inside me doesn’t know I’m there anymore.
Today, here, now I didn’t exist (How many times have I used this word? See? I’m out of my mind nuts for this book) outside of this story. For whatever reason it latched onto my heart and put it in a vice, squeezing and squeezing until that very last page where I finally, finally could let my breath slowly ease out and I could just simply be. That’s what her books do to me. They rip me out of reality until I feel like coming back-not often do books hold that power over you. That power where you know things are going on outside this vivid, imaginative world, but you are so focused and intent on this story that you kind of…live in an alternative plane of existence where you’re simply going through the motions in the real world until you can pick the story back up. That was me last night. I smiled. I nodded. I talked with the hubbs…but the only thing I wanted was to get back to Eddie and protective little Milo!
I can’t even look at her. I can’t do this right now. I leave the room. I leave the house. I’m always leaving, but I never have anywhere to go.
There is strong subject matter that won’t be fit for everyone, so I suggest you pick up her other works first like Some Girls Are or This is Not a Test and see if those stories touch you just as much as her writing has touched me. My first suggestion? Some Girls Are. But for an excellent dystopian that brought me out of the dystopian funk I was in (my favorite type of book so imagine how sad I was), I suggest This is Not a Test. I almost guarantee you’ll like one of those, if not both. If you don’t enjoy those, then her writing is likely not for you-Summers always has a dark undertone to her writing and a sleek way of working real tragedy into the stories, so you’ll quickly know if it’s a trigger you can handle. Though, I just can’t imagine that being the case-ever. It’s not all dark-there are beautiful moments between friends and jealousies and protectiveness and she creates some pretty dreamy boys that I have found to be unforgettable-almost every story has a heartbreaking romance that, while it doesn’t steal the show, it totally does because it’s not stealing the show lol. Meaning, by not pushing it in our faces, it totally makes you obsessed with it to the point where you’re…well…obsessed. But you still care about the depth of the story-line-which is a big problem for me. In most books all I care about is the romance.
Aaron launches himself off the roof and the time it takes him to fall seems like one of those forever kind of seconds-the kind you feel every inch of yourself present for, the kind where you can absorb every detail and recall it easily later, but also the kind that’s gone so quickly you wonder how it’s even possible to have walked away with that much of it carved into your soul.
I was going through a reading slump, but this book brought me back from that dark place. I got to add a new favorite to my shelf and I was able to immerse my myself in a sea of one of my favorite author’s words, once again. It just goes to show I’ve really evolved as a reader, since 2012. I need something palpable, real. I need flawed characters who make mistakes. I don’t need that perfectly wrapped up HEA anymore (okay, well, I mean Lauren Layne’s books have the PERFECT HEA’s so that’s a lie-I’ll always need those….) to fulfill me. I just need an expertly woven story…and Summers delivers.