“Sometimes the wrong path can lead us to the right road. And toward the greatest thing that will ever happen to us.”
So starting today, I will be posting 1 book review per day, just to ring in the wonderful month of March (my birth month, aka my favorite month). So to start off the month with a bang, I’m posting a review of the best book I’ve read in awhile.
OH. MY. GOD. This book was amazing. It was heartbreaking, it was humorous, it was endearing, and it was hopeful. You know those books that seem to attach themselves to you? The ones that contain words that push their way into your head and take ahold of your emotions? The ones whose words stay with you for years, and come to you at the most random of time? This is one of those books. Jay McLean has a way with words that is undeniably unique, and she creates the kind of characters that are unforgettable; they’re the kind of characters that come to be among your fictional friends. This book as a lot of heavy topics-cancer, drug usage, alcoholism, abusive parents, loss of parents-but its a poignant story, one that leaves you feeling happy, content, and warm inside at the end.
This is mainly the story of Chloe and Blake, but one of the things that sets the book apart are the multitude of supporting characters-Dean & Mary, Sammy & Harry, Josh & Tommy, Clayton and Celia-and their storylines. Chloe is one of several foster kids living with Dean and Mary. Contrary to what usually happens in novels, these are loving and caring foster parents who want nothing but the best for these children. Chloe lost her mother and aunt to cancer, and fears she carries the same cancerous gene. As a result, she tries to keep those around her from loving her to spare them from the pain of her death, when it comes. However, she meets Blake Hunter, and everything changes.
Chloe is possibly one of my favorite New Adult characters I’ve ever read. She’s spunky, vibrant, and tender, despite the horrible things she’s had to endure in her life. Despite the fact she tries to keep anyone from loving her, due to the fear of hurting them, it’s impossible, because it’s impossible not to love her. Unlike most characters that try to keep people from loving them by being complete assholes, Chloe still shows love to everyone around her. She does make it clear, though, that she will be leaving for “The Road” after graduation and never looking back. Before Blake, there is one person she lets into her life, and that is one of her foster brothers, Clayton. He’s a few years older than her, and struggles with drug abuse. Despite this, the relationship between the two is touching. Clayton story is incredibly heartbreaking, and doesn’t have the happy ending that Chloe’s does. Seriously, he ripped my heart out.
Blake was also one of my favorite characters in New Adult literature. While he didn’t suffer the same losses as Chloe, he still had his own difficulties. His father is a strict military man who puts a lot of pressure on Blake to enlist after graduating. His mother, tired from years of a loveless marriage with her husband, has locked herself away in the guesthouse, writing love stories and becoming an alcoholic. At school, Blake is the “popular jock”, with the hot cheerleader girlfriend, and Division I schools recruiting him for basketball, but he’s not happy. His girlfriend uses him simply for status, and he is tired of his “friends” trivial cares. Now, usually I would be annoyed with a character like this, but I can see where he’s coming from. He’s a kid whose had to grow up fast, and when that happens, you get easily annoyed with kids your age who only care about partying, drinking, and who they’re going to hook-up with next. Then, he meets Chloe, and everything changes. They spend a night together wandering the town, and at sunrise she tells him goodbye, assuming she won’t ever see him again. Little does he know, she goes to his school. Slowly, he works his way into her life and her heart.
I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers, but there is one specific part that I loved. I absolutely loved when Blake and Chloe go on their road trip. Even though it only comprises a fourth of the book, I feel like it’s where they connect the most. Their cute little habits of leaving magnets at the hotels they visit, and the notes Blake leaves Chloe every morning were adorable. Seriously, so adorable,
This is a story of the healing powers of love. What makes it special is the way that Jay McLean intertwines the different character’s storylines. Chloe revives the relationship between Blake and his mom, Celia, the friendship between Josh, Blake, and Chloe results in a network of support that is crucial in this harsh life, and it is Celia who finally brings Chloe some closure regarding the death of her mother. This book made me laugh, cry, and everything in between. I definitely recommend it to anyone in need of a little hope for healing.
I got it as an ARC on NetGalley, but you can get it on Amazon on March 3. The pre-order link is here!
PS, the cover gets a 5/5 rating from me! SO cute, right?