Harder: A Novel (Caroline & West Book 2)
This was a great sequel to the book that had me absolutely on edge this week, in love and in emotional angst! Book #1 (Deeper) set my heart on fire, and gave me a perpetual stomach ache, and had all of that realism that I crave in “new adult” novels, but alas… it left me in a heartache lurch.
And Harder (this book!) twisted that knife in my gut just a little harder. A little longer. And for a good portion of the story.
Aimee: Thing I loved most about this book is how genuine Caroline and West felt as people. I fell into “being” each of them within seconds of the shift in POV. Too real!
Julie: I’m almost done with book 2, Maryse 5 stars for me just like book 1!! LOVED!!
Bobbi: Good luck with #2. Just sayin Super interested in your perspective on one particular part.
Julie: Bobbi I know EXACTLY what part you’re talking about and I wanted to see what Maryse thought too!! <— side note from Maryse… GRRRRRR THAT PART!!!! YESSSSS. I was so curious as to what you guys were referencing and yeah… ROAR!
Tracie: I’m reading Deeper right now and I can’t get over how good the writing is. I’m so hooked
MichelleS: LOVED IT!!!! Book one and Book two
BEWARE!!! Stop reading this review if you haven’t yet read Deeper. I won’t spoil anything exactly, but… you know. Things might be said, or evaluated that you shouldn’t know yet.
I can’t tell you much of what it’s about, other than it’s a continuation of their angsty love story. It picks up a few months after #1 left off, and both main characters are still struggling with personal issues, life plans, loyalties, and the monkey-wrench that their unexpected romance threw into the whole shebang.
Except this book’s focus is mostly on West’s life, his personal trials and his attempt at reigning it all in… but at what sacrifice? His own. And Caroline’s.
“You shouldn’t have come.”
I’ve already thought the same thing, but it hurts to hear him say it.
*sigh* West, West, West… such a bad boy and yet such a good guy. But boy can he inflict an enormous amount of pain. On her, and on himself.
…he’s hurting badly, and his hardness is the only defense he’s got.
That “OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!!” Kindle-throwing kind of pain. A serial self-sabotager, his self-worth is next to nothing (and when we get to “live” in his old life with him for awhile, you’ll see why). If you ask him? What he wants is irrelevant in comparison to what he feels he “needs” to do.
But even though Caroline’s heartache is solid, she’s a fighter through and through. The things she has learned in the last year, and has to overcome this year, have just made her that much stronger. More determined. More resolved.
He’s so much harder than he used to be. All this armor between him and the world. I want him to know that I see it there. I know what it is, and if he wants to take it off with me, he can.
I love him.
And while her resolve does crumble at times (remember that Kindle-throwing pain I was talking about?)…
I’m sinking, and I don’t have to talk to him.
I don’t have to do anything.
…well… let’s just say that their subsequent growth and journey is well worth every page turn.
And sure, while it didn’t make me ache as hard as book #1, I found it to be a solid follow up! More story, more growth, more background, more crazy… and best of all, more love. But boy do we all have to work for it.
Does he feel that, too? He must.
It’s right there between us, that knowledge, that love song our bodies never stopped singing.
WOW!!!! Yep. Right?!!
These books were brilliantly written. Brimming in emotion, steeped in reality, and gracefully explored. I grew along with them.