Summary: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…
That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever
My thoughts: In my search for a good NA novel, I manage to find yet another YA novel, but I’m not sorry. Some people might stay that it’s NA because of the mature content, but the protagonist is a 17-year old girl, Sky, who falls in love with a returned in town guy (bad boy type would be in overstatement in my opinion), Holder, while she deals with some troubling events from her past. It’s an entertaining read, the plot wraps up nicely in the end (even though, a bit convenient), the characters are pretty consistent. There are some issues of sexual abuse, depression, suicide that could have been handled better, but overall, they didn’t fall in the horribly mishandled category. Spoilers from this point on.
I did like Sky, and I found her less annoying than most YA heroines I read. She’s not really attracted to guys, but makes out with them because she likes that numb feeling. But she dislikes the “slut” reputation her peers attach to her and her friend&neighbor, Six. Her repressed memories start to come out after she meets Holder, a pretty intense guy. I found Holder a bit too much in the beginning. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to make Sky slightly afraid of him. He was aggressive at times, but I didn’t read it as being aggressive to Sky, but because of various life events. Both of them are pretty fucked-up people who went through a lot, so their behavior can be explained through their past. Stuff that could have been handled better: Sky finding out about the abuse and demanding from Holder to have sex with her, so he would erase her father’s touch; Sky confronting her father and witnessing his suicide.
Actually, the father’s suicide didn’t seem consistent with his character. He is/was the chief of police in that town, you would have expect him to try do more than just giving up. He would have blamed his sister for being psychotic or something, and kidnapping his niece; Sky would have been just too traumatized by the events to remember them correctly. Sexual abuse is actually very hard to prove, especially after so many years. Unfortunately, the book missed an opportunity here to deal with of her father finding out and trying to get her back. And yeah, the fact he also abused Leslie (Holder’s sister who committed suicide) is too damn convenient. I mean, when did he do that? And her parents didn’t notice a change in her behavior?
The romance between Sky and Holder is done pretty well (minus the part where you get the feeling she’s too afraid of them). There are some nice scenes with good tension, eg. the scene in the kitchen when he cooks for her. There are also a few sex scenes, hence the mature content warning, which are well done. The timing could have been better though.
Overall, I liked this book and if you are a fan of YA books, you shouldn’t miss it.
My rating: 3.5 stars
About the author: Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and This Girl and Losing Hope. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys
Colleen is also holding a Book-A-Day giveaway, meaning that every day this year she’ll be giving a free book! Check out her website for more info.