This novel definitely takes you through an emotional wringer. It didn’t just bring tears to my eyes, but actually made me cry, repeatedly. Pinter tackled some very tough topics in a very tactful yet approachable manner that lets you really see them for what they are. When all is said and done I want to say that I couldn’t put this novel down, but that isn’t entirely true. I read part 1, Chelsea’s story, in a single sitting and was so emotionally wrung out that I had to force myself to put it down. That didn’t last long, however, and then I was diving headlong into part 2, which I again couldn’t put down. If Chelsea’s story broke my heart, Blake’s shattered it and then put the pieces back together again. This was such a bitter-sweet story that you can’t help but for the characters.
Pinter allows such realism to shine through her story that you can’t help but feel connected to it. The contrast between the two parts is phenomenal and highlights how different two sides of a coin can be. The author paints brilliant images with her descriptions. I quite enjoyed how she replayed the same scenes from each character’s perspective. The differences in their views really shines through in the minute differences in the way that they see the world around them. By melding their two lives into a single story Pinter really develops the world around these characters. There was also a seamless overlap between the two parts of the story. There were no discrepancies (other than differences in the characters’ perspectives).
The characters in this novel were also brilliant. The main characters were fantastically developed. Because the reader gets to know them as they get to know each other they are developed in a natural manner. They also grow and change into more mature individuals throughout the course of the stories, in conjunction with the issues that they must overcome and recover from. These two characters are complete opposites yet perfect for each other. The supporting cast rounds out this novel well. Through Pinter’s development you can really see how they are a family, whether or not they are related by blood.
Overall, this novel made me really think about how life can change so completely in the blink of an eye. It was an amazing, life altering story. Even though it was bitter-sweet, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone, and I am dying to read more from this brilliant author.
(reviewed 50 days after purchase)