Whoa. I don’t even know how to start this. *wipes eyes one final time with pajama top* Yes it’s 4:11pm and I’m still in my pajamas. I couldn’t help it! Plus it’s Sunday. Plus, I deserve to be in my comfortable pj’s ’cause this book tried to kill me, you guys.
It tried and tried, and I’d get back up, growl at it, or roll my eyes at it, or complain to my husband about it (at some points, I was so mad, that HE wanted to throw my iPad across the room). Or maybe it’s ’cause I kept interrupting his Call of Duty playing with my plaintive whining about the over-the-top, self-induced angsty character that was driving me batty. But even in all of my eye-rolling, my shrieks of “I wanna shake her!!” and “Can someone just please smack her? HARD!!??” (okay I actually said some way-worse things, here, but I’ll spare you ;)), I couldn’t put it down.
It tried to take me down, but I kept getting right back up, because there was just something so intense that had me coming back for more.
“This thing is confusing.”
He pointed back and forth between us.
It’s so sweet. So falling-in-love worthy. So heartbreaking. The writing? Yep. My ability to connect even though, at times, I was so freakin’ frustrated with the main characters, I couldn’t contain myself. I was mad at myself that I couldn’t just… walk away from the book. It had a “je ne sais quoi” that wouldn’t let me go, even though my logical mind was mad at pretty much… the whole thing.
It’s amazing how in just a few hours my entire world came crashing down around me and I just stood there to watch it happen.
The moments of self-loathing… the self-deprecation. That’s when I realized. This sweet seemingly YA (but not for long – they become adults soon enough) love story/life story had a darkish side. A “gentler” dark side wrapped up in the precious yellow sunshine of a love story of hope.
“Thank you, Noah.”
He smiled. “I’ll always take care of you and make sure you have candy, Tweet.”
It was the first time he called me by the nickname that would stick with me forever.
It snuck up on me. It’s addicting, it’s unputdownable, and at times it’s simply ridiculous. It’s realistic. And then it’s so unrealistic.
I even thought to myself, wait… do people really think like this? Do people really act like that? I found myself exclaiming “Oh please… spare me the self-induced melodrama!! It’s ALL YOU!!!!” and yet, I loved the story (or the feel?) as a whole.
I didn’t know what to say, so I did what I usually do. I ran.
*sigh*. Yes. She did.
But I had to continue reading. *shrug* I went with it. I had to know where it was going.
There’s only one person in my life who reigns over whether or not I’m lonely. Whether I’m physically with him or not, knowing he’s in my life keeps the loneliness away. When he’s standing in front of me and I feel him slipping away, the ache of loneliness takes over and drowns me. Being that vulnerable to a person is frightening.
And like I’ve said before with characters like this girl… maybe there are people just like her who’ve thought the things she has thought and reacted in similar ways. Who am I to say different? I’m different from her (and them.. yes). And while I felt some of it was drama for the sake of drama, I must admit, as a young teen/college student I’ve had my bouts of melodrama, self-centeredness, self-sabotage and even self-sacrificing moments.
Noah’s happiness was the most important thing to me. I wanted him to be happy even if it meant I was miserable.
It’s what being human and being alive is all about. Fear. Insecurities. Control (hehe, not that kind of control – this is not that kind of “dark”). So even if I couldn’t 100% relate to her actions and her thoughts, I was still so connected to her.
This book made me feel things DEEP. I internalized a lot of it. Characters infuriated me. Scenes exasperated me. She exhausted me. The book kept coming at me, and then it tried to take me down, and then when I started sobbing, I knew it succeeded. I couldn’t believe the… direction it took. The surprises that came at me. A few of ’em. You just wait.
Oh I had the perfect “clever” start for this review (while I was still reading the book) that had me giggling. I crack myself up sometimes. But suddenly, my clever/silly start to my review no longer had the right impact. Because when I came up with that “start” I was so sure I knew where the story was going so I had already started formulating my review notes. But the story took a turn, and I had to, also. It knocked me down, and I had to right myself. There was a certain depth to the story (what I learned, what I took in, and what I took from it) that knocked the “silly” right out of me.
So what’s it about?
I won’t say much other than it’s about two absolute best friends (Noah and Amanda) that were raised together and had the most AMAZING beautiful friendship (from the very start) that I only wish I could have had (think… “Sweet Gum Tree” in terms of that soul-deep connection). But they grow up, you know. And while both come from truly loving, stable homes, this still goes to show you that even people from a “normal” childhood might have issues.
It’s not perfect, no. Again, some of the over-the-top “decisions”, personal introspection and character reactions could almost be toned down to a more relatable (less exaggerated, more natural) level. I’m giving that a pass though, since 1.) they were young, and 2.) there needed to be growth, and it would come with time. And I (er… I mean, she) needed something to compare it to. To learn from.
And in the deeper, more meaningful moments (the bulk of the story – for me) I wish there was more of that. Oh it’s intense, and it’s meaningful, but for as much feeling and time that the author took in the more “excessive” stages of this love story, I felt that there was slightly less… hrmmm… volume? in what to me, was the most amazing, touching, maturing part of the story. The growth. The character evolution. I’d say it felt a bit “rushed” compared to all of that… beginning part.
But… I loved it nonetheless.
My “logical side” wants to give it 4 stars (it can’t help but shake a fist at a few parts and it even wants to give some of those parts 3 stars). My personal notes were quite “ranty”. Yessss, I admit…. I indulged in some name calling. *blush*
BUT my feeling side wants to give it 5 stars (’cause it was so mad, so happy, so sad, so enamored, soooooo…. *my lips are sealed*). 😉 P.S. Not necessarily in that order.
Get your tissues ready!! This is gonna hurt. *wicked grin*
I’ll go with overall – 4 stars!! (with 5-star emotions!!)
P.S. The title of this book? Wow. Just WOW!!!! I didn’t get it. I do now.
P.P.S. This IS a standalone.
P.P.P.S. 😉 My husband actually purchased it last night for me (I like him to choose for me sometimes – I went into this not knowing a single thing) – and boy can he pick a read!