'This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, for anyone who has woken up crying and gone to bed the same way, for anyone who has had to learn that its okay not to be okay. Surviving isn’t strength, its continuing to breathe one day at a time; strength is learning to live despite the pain.'
For the past few days or weeks I have this sudden fascination in reading the dedication parts of the books I'm reading some of them are mere mentions of people's names and some of them seems to sum up what the book is all about like the quotation above written from the dedication page of this book.
I know what I'm getting into once I started reading this book. The synopsis says it all. What I didn’t see is how much emotion this thing could invoke in me. I expect to shed a tear or two with a story like this but no I didn’t shed a tear or two because I was in a fit of emotional train wreck while reading this.
The book is divided into three parts and is written in alternation POV's of Nell and Colton. I don't consider this as a spoiler but a bit of on overview onto what you’re going to head into once you've read this.
For the First part of the story: Damn you Part One!!"We learned to ride bikes together and learned to swim together and we learned to drive cars together. And now we're learning how to fall in love together."
The start of the story and I was crying like a baby – Silly me I know. I really like the reminder of a true first love with Kyle and Nell. They’re best friends born two days apart and live just a street down from each other. It's expected that they’re to be together but nothing like that comes up to their minds until they turn 16 where new love, first love and every first comes in their way. They’re on their way to college and their relationship is still intact until something or someone is lost. Though I know Kyle would not make it through the whole story the thought of him dying after knowing what He and Nell have been through is just heartbreaking. Through those short moments I could say that I loved Kyle and to anyone who’ve read this and say you didn’t learn to love Kyle from those teensy details given to us, I'm asking you - what is wrong with you?
The second and the third parts of the story encompasses the events that happened after losing Kyle and from then enters his older brother Colton - the breakaway kid, the tattooed thug bad-boy. He didn’t always say the right thing but he has this heart of gold deep down inside. He's arrogant but he can melt my heart when he says nice deep things and when he sings. It surprised me to know that aside from his loss of Kyle he also lost a few important people on his life. He suffered what Nell is suffering with Kyle.
As if by chance and destiny, Colton and Nell reconnect after two years of not seeing each other, after the funeral and after a certain kiss. I don't really know how their relationship started is it just from that certain kiss they shared during a time? But one thing is for sure, the attraction is really there and as I continue reading their story I begin to realize they’re amazing together.
They’re two broken pieces and what they needed to be whole again is each other. They both have their share of people fixing them but they can only fix themselves. There are a lot of push and pull between their relationship; Colton pushing Nell to release all her hurt guilt and anger and taught her how to breathe and smile once again. Nell on the other hand also push Colton to reveal some things that no one but him and his friends know about. . They both have scars, regrets and anger and the feel of losing someone they love. After being lonely for a long time they finally founded the chance for them to be happy and love once again, seeing them trying to work things feels so good as a reader.
(Gosh this review is turning into a sappy soap opera!) "Feel. Grieve. Let yourself feel all the anger and the fact that he was taken away. Feel the loss. Feel the sadness and missing him. Just sit and let it all rip you apart. And then just get up and keep breathing. One breathe a time. One day at a time. Wake up and be shredded. Cry for awhile. Then stop crying and go about your day. You’re not okay, but you’re alive, and you will be okay, someday."
The writing of this book was beautiful. It was the first book by the author that I've read and I could say I was pretty impressed. There isn’t much of conversation happened on the book but I consider it as a great pro - its new for me and the voice of Nell and Colton are so engrossing to read through.
The series of unfortunate events leads me into believing that things really happen for a reason. This book was really amazing. It's a journey of survival and letting go. I could’ve given this a five start ratings but there are things that I seem to be a bit reluctant like:
As I’ve said Colton and Nell’s relationship that started with that one kiss – I’m skeptical about it. I don’t really feel that that one kiss would be a source of a long-time attraction especially to Colton.
Another is I’m thinking what happened to Kyle’s letter to Nell? The one that she kept for a long time - that tear inducing letter. I consider that letter as a very essential part of Kyle so I’m looking for it as the story progress but no – didn’t find it. I know there is already a closure with regards to Kyle’s death for Nell but I still think it’s a bit open.
The characters, Kyle, Nell and Colton are amazing. Though Kyle didn’t end up with us until the very end he would hold a space in your heart while reading it. They’re all amazing beyond words. The story in all was pretty great!
It really went beyond to what I was expecting. It dives straight into my heart. It was heartbreakingly beautiful!
Please find the time to read this precious book. You would surely not regret It!