Before… They are the Musketeers–one for all and all for Rain, or however that saying goes.
Now that Rain’s sixteen, freedom is at her fingertips. Cliff jumping at the lake. Rain’s first tattoo. Spence finally asking her out. With her friends by her side, there’s no reason Rain can’t be happy in a world that constantly tries to extinguish her addictive, carefree spirit.
After… It’s just Rain. No misfits and no Musketeers.
Until Rain pulls up to her new summer job and discovers the two people she’s been hiding from–Spence and Landon– are her new cabin mates. Landon’s determined to help Rain overcome her guilt and remember what once was. As they become closer, he awakens a part of her soul she never thought she’d feel again.
Making Rain wonder if, despite all the mistakes she’s made, it’s worth trying to get back to the girl she used to be.
4.5 stars — Oh you guys, this one just sucked me in and has now left me reeling… This book had ALL THE FEELS. I mean seriously, I didn’t just bawl once, I bawled at least twice with little mini crying bits in between.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all just a cry fest. It starts off really light and happy and I was just in love with the characters. The first scene in the book just made me happy and had me wanting to know more about this little band of misfits. Each of the 4 friends was so unique, though they all struggled with difficult home lives in some way…it’s kind of what brought them together I suppose. They knew what it was to be outsiders in a sense. And yet they fit with each other. They pushed each other. They wanted what was best for each other. It was a great story of friendship, and how friendship can endure through tragedy (but not without stumbling blocks along the way).
Rain was a fascinating character…there were many parts of her that I related to (her love of colour, and her just giddiness I guess). But at the same time, I can NOT relate to her sense of adventure and risk taking. I was with Spence — NO NO NO! 😉 But I really felt how she felt those colours came from deep inside her soul, and I loved the contrast of colours to black before and after…it was a great use of symbolism, and really fit her character.
The grief and emotional upheaval that Rain experiences…heck that they all experience…was just so real. I felt it in my bones. I loved that they all reacted differently and dealt with it in different ways…they all had different journeys to becoming ok again. And as someone who struggles with depression, while it wasn’t addressed head on and spelled out, I could recognize it in Rain, and I thought that it was dealt with superbly. I really did feel all her emotions down to the core of myself. And I especially loved Ms. Morris’s note in her acknowledgements at the end of the book about depression…
So why round down instead of up? Well folks, I’m still me, and I’m still a romantic at heart, and so it was a personal taste thing. And while I ADORED the different examples of love in this book, I also struggled with it. My little simplistic heart wasn’t prepared to fall in love multiple times, and so my heart had a hard time accepting where the story was going to go (even if I loved where it went and felt it was the right place and all that jazz). And in the end, I kind of wanted a “story” ending on the romance front, like some big declaration from Rain or something. It’s stupid. I still got what I wanted, I just wanted more. I love the boy she ended up with…seriously, another beta boy — MEGA SWOON!!! But it was just too realistic for me. And sometimes I love that…and a part of me is even now arguing in my brain that it was better this way, and it fit the story better and all that good stuff. But damnit! My gut wanted more. Maybe we’ll see glimpses of them in the next book and it will satisfy me.
Also, I wanted a bit more from some of the secondary characters (Knox and Ellis in particular). I like mystery, but I needed a bit more of a hook I guess. Not that I’m not all in from that teaser chapter of the next book…oh yeah, my one-click finger is ready, just put the buy link in my hands and I’m all over that shit.
On a final note, can I just say that the ending chapter was pretty much the most perfect way in the history of ways to end the book? I mean, I never saw it coming, and it was just…EPIC. Like EPIC EPIC. Like, I can’t even go there epic. Like you guys are all rolling your eyes at me but then you’ll read it and be like “awww, Lenore was right. That was epic.”