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.
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by Atria Books (first published December 17th 2012)
Five Stars! A stunning, powerful must read book!
Sky is finally getting out a bit into the real world. After years of being home schooled and without technology in her home, not even a tv, phone or computer, she is going to go to public school! The only problem is that her best friend, Six, who talked her into it is now heading over seas to participate in an exchange program. Sky must weather public school alone! Even though Six is her best friend and more like a sister, by association Sky has earned a reputation of being a slut. Sky has never done more than kiss a boy because for some inexplicable reason she doesn't feel anything when she is with a boy. Everything changes when Sky meets Dean Holder. From the moment their eyes meet, there is sizzling chemistry. What Sky doesn't know is where this intense attraction will lead. A relationship with Holder will take her on the highest of highs and down to the lowest of lows once the secrets come forth. Can the promise of love and courage see her through as she encounters the darkness of human evil?
What I Loved:
Normally I would lay out everything I liked and didn't like about this book, but today I am going to forgo that format because this is one of those books that got inside my head and brushed my soul and forever changed me! Yes indeed, it was that good. I read a review last year for this author's first book, Slammed, and was impressed. I even purchased a kindle copy when the book was still self pubbed, but unfortunately like to many of my ebook purchases it got shoved back in the reading order as I fulfilled blog commitments. What a mistake! Let me tell you, if you have books by Ms. Hoover drop everything and read them now! She is an incredibly talented author who knows how to make you feel. She packs in so much emotion into each and every scene and I couldn't believe how deeply I felt for the characters and their plight by the end of the book.
This is one of those books that starts out with a teenage romance that is all lust and attraction, and I was prepared for it to be a typical read. What I wasn't expecting was the intenseness of each and every scene. For instance, when Sky and Holder hang out for the first time, she wants him to kiss her desperately. He refuses because he knows her history of making out with boys and feeling nothing. Holder wants his first kiss with Sky to be memorable and amazing. What follows is a delicious dance of flirting and passion that evolves into the best non kiss I have ever read. It is just amazing.
I admit I am not the biggest fan of love scenes in books because I often end up feeling like a Peeping Tom, but this was not he case with this book. The love scenes are so well done and so full of passion and love that they are a pleasure to read. I was amazed time and time again at the depth of emotion Ms. Hoover was able to convey. The power of her writing is astonishing!
Now that I have babbled on about all the butterfly feelings of amazing first kisses and more, I must get to the darker stuff. At the midway point, this book takes a severe turn into the darkness of a man's heart. As Holder and Sky come together, they discover that they are nothing like their reputations. They are intensely kind people who want nothing more than love and acceptance. Unfortunately, they are both severely damaged and broken, even though Sky doesn't know it at the time. Holder is confronted by his haunting past and once the secrets come forth, it is like getting punched in the gut. After all the euphoria of the amazing romance, you are plunged into the past and you experience the loss of innocence of three young children as they are confronted with pure evil. It is absolutely heart wrenching to see how black the human soul can be. This evil threatens everything good and pure between Holder and Sky. I wish I could do it justice by explaining it in this review. The best I can do is tell you that it is one hell of a ride as you cringe in horror and your heart breaks for Holder and Sky and everything they lost. Yet, just when things are at their darkest, a ray of pure sunshine filters through and scrubs away the black storm clouds. This beacon of hope is the purest love that exists between Sky and Holder. A love that is properly established through friendship and time. No insta-love or love triangles. It is the sweetest most passionate love that will remind you that despite all the evils of humanity, we can and do manage to overcome the evils because we have the capability to love and the courage to trust our hearts to another.
So go into this one and strap in for a roller coaster ride of emotions. I promise you that you will complete the trip as a changed person. You will smile and cry as you read this one and I think this book will speak to your soul. This is one of those books that you need to read. I am absolutely in awe of Ms. Hoover's talent, and I cannot believe it has taken this long for this superb indie writer to hit it big. This is exactly the diamond in the rough book that you are looking for in the indie genre. Thankfully, Ms. Hoover is now under contract and I am certain we will be treated with many more fantastic books from her in the future. I, for one, cannot wait! Luckily for me, the next book Hopeless #2 releases later this year and it is told from Holder's view point. You can bet that I have already pre ordered my copy. My parting words for you dear reader are do yourself a favor and drop everything and read this now! I dare you to come back and tell me that it didn't make you feel!
Here are too many good quotes from this read!
"I seriously thought people only acted this way in books, but I'm witnessing firsthand that idiots actually exist."
"It's too bad your mother won't let you have internet. It's an amazing place to discover facts about yourself that you never even knew."
"I need this. I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours. Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses."
"The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. Because if you've never felt anything when someone's kissed you, then no one's ever really kissed you. Not the way I plan on kissing you."
"I thought Mormons weren't allowed to have caffeine." Breckin shrugs. "I decided to break that rule the morning I woke up gay."
"The only thing I'm certain about right now is that after this moment, I will never be the same. I know, by the way his existence is like a magnetic pull on my heart, that if he ever hurts me again, I'll be far from just fine. I'll be broken."
"I look at my reflection in the mirror and I see a girl who desperately wants to forgive a boy, but not without a hell of a lot of groveling first."
"Live. If you mix the letters up in the words like and love, you get live."
"If God's the type of guy that would damn you to Hell just for loving someone, then I wouldn't want to spend eternity with Him, anyway."
"Whatever connection we thought we had before this....it doesn't compare to this moment. No matter what happens between us in this life, this moment has just merged pieces of our souls together."
"I'm not thinking about anything else right now but how much I love this boy and how much he loves me and how despite what's going on in my life, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than in this moment with him."
"The first time you kissed me?" I say. "That moment when your lips touched mine? You stole a piece of my heart that night."
"The first time you told me you lived me because you weren't ready to tell me you loved me yet?" I press my hand harder against his chest and I move myself closer to him, wanting to feel every part of me. "Those words stole another piece of my heart."
"I knew in that moment that I was in love with you. I was in love with the way you love me. When you wrapped your arms around me and held me, I knew that no matter what happened with my life, you were my home. You stole the biggest piece of my heart that night."
"I never thought I would ever be able to trust a man enough to share my heart, much less hand it over completely."
"Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choice feels the least wrong."
"I'm choosing to stand up taller. I'll probably get knocked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I'll never stay on the ground.
A huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC copy of this book for review. All quotes are from the Advanced Copy and may vary slightly from the final copy. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.