(Links after the review!)
Elise's life mirrors the lives of so many of us. For me, it’s as if Brooklyn used some voodoo magic (totally kidding) and peeked inside my heart and drew it all out. I myself faced a lot of issues at the same age as Elise. Right away, I felt connected to her character. She has had to live her entire life with the guilt and abuse her mother brings down on her. She blames her for so many things that have happened to them. She then decides to punish her. Thankfully Elise has her brother Thad to help her through it and shield her. Thad was their mothers “Golden Child” so to speak. Like the blurb on the cover of the book, “She was always second best.” As her story continues she has to face a huge hardship.
She was violated by someone she cared about and that person stripped her of so much. In one moment her world is shattered and she has to deal with it all alone. It’s something that is so raw and so real and happens every day all around the world. Sadly, too many don’t come forward to use their voice and share the trauma with the right people. When she gets the courage to tell her mother what has happened after some verbal war, her mother does the unthinkable. She turns her back and makes things worse. It was at this very moment that I wanted to physically jump into the story and find the mom and set her straight with an action or two. My heart was breaking for Elise, and for all of us survivors. It’s right there that proves what a remarkable story it is.
Elise is sent away to other family so her mother doesn’t have to deal with her or her problems and many more reasons that her imaginative mother comes up with. I’m trying so hard to not give too much away! Elise is in many ways relieved and grateful for the chance to get away. Her Aunt and Uncle draw her in and give her a safe place to live, grow and heal. They understand so much more than her mother and give her the chance to really find herself. There should be more people like them in this world, that’s for sure.
As Elise adjusts and pulls herself together, she meets some great people. She sees how different her new place is from the old. The town is obsessed with football and the stars of the game. One of those people is Ford. His story grabbed me as well. He lives under enormous pressure to be the best. To play the game, and stay. It’s pretty much his Dad living through him. We all know someone who does that right? Ford lives with the pain and the pressure. Between his physical issues and emotional turmoil, he struggles. Even though they are so different in most ways, Elise and Ford have some things in common. They both have survived abuse from a parent.
They continue to grow as individuals and as friends. It’s slow going, but they get there. They have goals to graduate and stay in their small town. They want to find true love and to conquer their issues. While doing all this, they have to deal with more hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles that Elise face s is, using her voice. She finally tells someone about the trauma that happened to her. It’s a milestone in the story for her and for those around her. If I say too much, I’ll give it away!
Ford finds out the truth before she tells him. He has to learn how to understand it and deal. Ford is an amazing character on his own. He has such depth and heart. I wish I could just hug the insides out of him and tell him it’s ok. Do you ever have those moments when you’re reading? I do all the time!
As if they weren’t dealing with enough, Elise is faced with another trauma. It’s something that if she did not have been blessed with relationships that have held in the positive. I can say that this part of their story got to me. I had to put it down and walk away from it for about an hour. I had cried my eyes out for Elise, for myself, and for others. Yes, it was that powerful to me. It’s a trauma that is one of the deepest and darkest to deal with in my opinion. Once I was done with all the blubbering, I finished the story. By the end of it, I had gone through every emotion I had in me. In the end, Elise and Ford come through so much and they do it together. In my honest opinion, they are the epitome of what being a survivor is. I fully admit, I blubbered some more.
As a fellow survivor, this whole story brought out so much in me. I have such empathy for both of them and yup, even love. Have you ever read a book or series that makes you feel so much and the story comes alive? For me it did, it really did.
Like with the majority of my reviews, I try to share what I found to the positives and negatives of the book.
So far the positives:
Obviously, I’ve raved about how much this book spoke to me. It did on so many levels and pulled my heart.
I got lost in their story and lost sleep because I couldn’t put it down. That’s both good and bad right?
Brooklyn captured so much heart, soul and depth in her main characters.
Deep down, they’re amazing people who have survived so much.
I loved the touches of humor and thoughtfulness.
The point of view from both characters was refreshing and added a lot to the story. It wasn’t just one person narrating or sharing. It honestly holds most of the story together. There is no guessing how they felt from another’s point of view.
The negatives for me:
I would have liked to know more about the Aunt and Uncle. They’re also both really unique characters.
Being a survivor, I would have liked to see more consequences for the person who traumatized Keep in mind, that’s the survivor in me talking.
I can tell there might be some good stories behind the supporting characters. I’d like to have a little more insight to them.
I had to change my shirt. I cried so much I messed up the top of my shirt! All that crying and blubbering had me on a search for something clean to put on.
Fair warning: This book can trigger some emotions in you. It can make you to giggle, get angry, ugly cry and cost you money buying more tissues. Forget it; just grab a towel to sop up the left over emotions falling through your peepers! When you sit down to read this, expect a marathon read. Brooklyn captured so much in this book and it will stay with you. Look closely and she’ll show you some powerful messages.
Authors Website: Brooklyn Taylor
Authors Amazon Page: Brooklyn Taylor
Authors GoodReads Page: Brooklyn Taylor
Authors Facebook Fan Page: Brooklyn Taylor