Author: Lisa Schroeder
# Of Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Source: ARC (Thank you SO much Lisa!)
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts
Rae’s always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her…and the less she wants to give.
As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous. He’s not about to let her go. And with danger following her every move, Rae must fight for the life and love she deserves if she’s going to survive.
I think at this point we all know that I think Lisa Schroeder writes the best verse novels out there! Whenever anyone asks me about novels in verse that is the first name that comes out of my mouth. This novel however, is Lisa’s first YA book told in traditional prose (with a good amount of poetry sprinkled throughout). I will admit when I heard this book wasn’t in verse I was disappointed, I was also a little nervous and wondered would it be as good as her other books? Well I am here to tell you that YES IT IS! Silly me to doubt.
The book is about a girl named Rae who has a very difficult home life that she keeps hidden from even her best friends. The way she deals with this dark part of her life is through keeping a poetry journal where she lets all her emotions flow freely.
I absolutely loved the formatting of this book! The book starts off with a snippet of Rae in the hospital but we don’t know what happened to put her there. The book then jumps to six months earlier, then we get another snippet at the hospital, five months later, snippet, four months, and so on and so forth. This created a great sense of tension and mystery throughout the whole book as we wonder what is going to happen to Rae.
As for the characters, it was so refreshing to have such a strong, intelligent, and loving protagonist like Rae. Her love and care for others, even those who had hurt her kept surprising me. She really was a remarkable character.
Nathan is the new guy who immediately shows interest in Rae. You could tell he was trouble from the first moment he opened his mouth, I just wish Rae could have seen it too! It was understandable how she looked past it though, because she had never had a boyfriend before and dreamed of having someone who really cared for her.
Leo was the awesome friend. He was completely laid back, fun, caring, super sweet and did I mention he’s homeschooled?!? Homeschooled characters don’t really pop up often in YA so I was pretty excited. (I was homeschooled myself, so that’s why I’m so excited about this!)
All in all, this book was a battle between light and dark, about finding the light even in the darkest most trying times. It was emotional. It was mysterious. It was hopeful. It was wonderful.