This book made me want some hot chocolate. Aside from the fact that the characters in this book make tons of it, it seemed like a book that could pair well with a nice cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a warm, fuzzy blanket.
I’ve read a lot of books with heartwarming relationships, and yes, they’re sweet and fun, but I mean, how many of those types of stories can you read, really? Eventually something is going to come along and rattle the cage a little bit, because it’s so taboo and different than other stories you’ve read. This book falls into the latter category. It’s different than your typical love story. How? Well the two main characters are cousins.
That’s the thing. It’s weird, but in another light, it’s a sweet love story between a boy and girl who know they can’t be together, but can’t deal with being apart.
The main character in this story, Jackie, has been through a lot. She and her parents moved out of their home in California into a farmhouse with her aunt and uncle, and their huge family. So there are quite a few people living under one roof, and she’s often put in charge of babysitting her younger cousins. Her oldest cousin, Marcus, is the same age as she is, and the two of them are incredibly close. They are always paired together for chores, babysitting, etc., and they spend a lot of time together.
A few months prior to the story’s beginning, Jackie’s best friend goes missing. While she and Jackie weren’t as close as they had once been, Jackie is still lost and in a lot of pain. She feels guilty for not spending more time with her friend, and it’s eating at her. Throughout the book. Jackie learns new facts about her friend’s disappearance, that lead up to a thrilling ending.
But back to Jackie and Marcus. At first, a few summers ago, they had kissed on a dare while they were playing with their friends. While they thought it was kind of weird, their attraction to each other made them do it again, and eventually, two summers later, they realize that the feelings that they have for each other are more than they should be. They try and hide their “relationship” from their friends and families, because it’s not something that others would be accepting of. They call it quits so many times, only to find their way back to each other. They even try dating other people, thinking that it will help them get over one another, but in the end, is it ever really that easy?
When Jackie and Marcus realize that they truly love each other and can’t get away from it (plus, how easy can it be to break up when they’re living in the same house and seeing each other every day?), they have to decide whether it’s worth it to be with the one that they love, even if it means facing the criticism of their families and friends, and wondering if their choices are the right ones.
This book is fantastic. It’s not only well written, but it’s captivating and fun to read. It keeps you guessing the entire way through – what really happened to Jackie’s best friend? Will Jackie and Marcus stay together, despite everything, or will they choose to end their forbidden relationship, in search of something a little more “normal?”
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.