I’m not supposed to be here.
Death has come for me more than once, and each time it’s been a boy who’s stood between me and my final breath.
I called him Christopher when he saved me as a child. When he came into my life again, only months ago, I knew him as Wes. Just as he did the time before, he disappeared the moment he made sure I was out of harm’s way; as if I didn’t need any more saving.
This time, though, death left me with a reminder of how powerful it is. I know it meant to strip me of my spirit again, but it failed.
Even so, I know I need Wes to survive. Our souls are woven together somehow, our every breath in sync. I feel it, even though everyone says I shouldn’t.
The world thinks he’s missing.
His loved ones don’t want to believe he’s dead.
Only I know just how special he is.
I’m going to find him and bring him home, where he belongs. Together, we’ll face impossible—we’ll rewrite our ending.
And when the bad guys come calling, we will always win.
4.5 stars — Technically I did receive an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review/opinion, but since I was so behind, I just read the copy that I preordered and showed up on my Kindle. 🙂
I ended up rereading book one before diving into this book, hence why I was behind on my ARC reading, but it was so nice to be fully immersed in this book universe again so I remembered absolutely everything. I’m just that kind of girl. I always worry that the sequel is not going to live up to the first book, especially when the first book blows you completely away. I’m happy to say that for *me*, this book did NOT let me down!! While I did find it to be a slightly slower read than the first book, I was still so ridiculously satisfied with all the answers I got and where the story ended up going.
For those readers that are curious about the paranormal aspect, I can definitively say that this is not a strictly contemporary read. I’ll leave the rest for the book to dive into, but the hint of paranormal/sci-fi is definitely there. I know that’s not everyone’s bag, but I actually really enjoyed how it felt very natural to the story, but also didn’t take OVER the story. It’s hard to place this fully into a paranormal/sci-fi genre, b/c it still had a very contemporary feel despite that aspect. It was, in some ways, a bit of a coming-of-age story, or a story about a character’s growth and struggles with some very real life problems. So take from that what you will. I can see folks who are strictly contemporary maybe not enjoying this, and I can see folks who are all-paranormal-all-the-time not enjoying it either. But for those readers that like to cross into both, it was a delicious mix. There is a part of me that maybe was still left with a whole schwak of questions as a result, but for some reason I was OK with that. It fit the story.
Joss was entirely inspiring in this book. You really get to see her shine, and I was raising my hands in solidarity for her choices for most of this book. I honestly had no idea where this book was going to go after the ending of the last one. And it honestly surprised me a LOT with the different twists and turns it took. Certain plot aspects that I thought would be the main ones ended up being somewhat resolved and we were plunged into the next obstacle. Other side plots I had never even considered were presented and really added to the story as a whole (Grace). But I particularly loved what Ms. Scott did with Joss, and how Joss handled some of the revelations. She reacted just as I expected her to, even if I didn’t realize it until after I read it. It was like “yup, that’s Joss.” The thing that I really love about this character is that she’s NOTHING LIKE ME. Like, nothing. I would have totally reacted in completely different ways, but because of the way she was written, I fully bought into every decision and action she made. I empathized with her, and genuinely LIKED her. That’s good writing yo.
And then there’s Wes. Oh Wes. You know what I loved about him in this book? He wasn’t perfect. He made bad choices, decisions that hurt the people he loved. He was vulnerable, and afraid at times. He was confused. He had a lot going on in his own story. But through it all I still loved him. And I still rooted for him.
And I loved Wes and Joss together. They make my heart so happy. Their journey is just so fraught with obstacles that I really feel like Ms. Scott owes it to them (and us) to write them a little short story where everything is happy and awesome and we get to just revel in the fun that is them for like 50 pages. I realize most people would find that boring, and thus it will never happen, but a girl can dream. They’re so sassy and snarky with each other, but also so ridiculously sweet, and just REAL with each other too.
I LOVED the developments we got with Joss’s Dad. I fully bought into his growth, and the growth of their relationship. He still broke my heart, but I was all in. And I loved that we got to learn more about Joss’s Mom, often through Grace, and that the answers weren’t all Hollywood/storybook clean and good, but that they felt real and believable and shed some light on other topics. I loved Grace and what she added to the story (as I’ve already said).
And as always, I LOVED our secondary characters. Kyle, Taryn, TK and Levi were da bomb dot com. Even Bria had a tiny moment. I love when a book gives us not only fabulous main characters to love, but an amazing supporting cast.
So yeah. There’s my novel of a review. This book left me happy and satisfied. The only reason it’s not a full 5 stars is because I felt like the pacing could have been tightened up in places. But I was so satisfied with so many other aspects, that it really didn’t affect me as much as it might have in another novel. And on a strange final sidenote, I do not have any interest in baseball as a sport whatsoever. But this novel actually made me consider watching a game with my Mom…that’s a miracle folks, a miracle.