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Even as I type this, I'm deciding what rating I will give this book. I can't even remember how many times I've rewritten this review ... twenty or thirty times? ... maybe more. My feelings are just so conflicted. Man. First of all, I have so many books piled up to read that by looking at them, I don't know what they are all about. When that one lucky book gets chosen for reading, I don't read the blurb on the back of the book. If I thought it was good enough to read before, reading the back of the book before I dive in isn't going to change anything ... so why spoil any surprises?!?
I really didn't have any clue as to what was going to be within the pages of this one. It doesn't help that from the first page, you're thrown into Kacey and Livie's lives like you've been there the whole time. I was confused at first, a confusion that won't happen if you're smarter than me and read the back of the book. That beginning confusion lasted only a few short pages but then a real and gritty confusion lasts for a while but it's not for the book ... it's for the characters. K.A. Tucker really took me for a ride. I became totally immersed in the characters. Anytime the story was focused on Kacey, I WAS Kacey and the same goes with Livie and all of the other characters. It was really the weirdest damn thing that I've ever encountered while reading. I was just invested so fast that it was confusing and quite startling, to be honest.
This novel is one of those that really pulls you down with it. Now don't take that in a bad way. Authors want you to feel. I think they all strive for you to become one with their book like they have. They want you to be tugged with the ebb and flow of emotions and/or actions within the walls of the world that they have created. And I totally did ... I was feeling depressed when the characters were depressed. I was happy when they were and I was totally prepared to hold this one dude down when Kacey wanted to light his junk on fire. I told you, I was invested.
The beginning of the story, as heartbreaking as it was, was actually a lot easier for me to read than the last 1/5 of the book. Dude, that last quarter damn near broke me down and I'm not a crier!! It was so hard to feel a wonderfully written character break down ... to watch them get to the worst possible version of themselves and then just become a shell of a person. I held my breath for like 40 pages, just wondering if this character would piece herself back together. It was NOT what I was expecting when I picked up a New Adult novel. Not at all.
But I'm glad that I did. Tucker will definitely be on my list for authors that I keep up with and possibly Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads stalk. This book is an absolute must read. You have to read it. Put down what you're reading now (unless it's Divergent or The Testing - in which case read that quickly and THEN immediately put it down) and pick this book up. You won't be disappointed. Wait a second, yep. Just changed the rating to a 5 star. Now, if you want to be my friend, you have to read it.