Author: Amy Reed
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Rate: 4 stars
Marcus spirals into an even deeper darkness and is forced by new events to face the demons of his past. The pain of losing Evie becomes tangled with the loss of his mother and brother, and he must finally face the ghosts he has been trying so desperately to outrun or risk losing Evie forever.
I recently read and reviewed the first book in this powerful duology, Invincible, and since I had fallen completely in love with that book, I knew I absolutely just had to read this one.
If you’re interested in reading my review for Invincible, you can do so by going here.
This review is going to have quite a few spoilers in it, especially if you haven’t read Invincible yet, so I’m just throwing that out there!
So Unforgivable picks up right where Invincible left off – with Evie so lost and unhappy with her life she decides to text Marcus and then walks out into the ocean after consuming large amounts of alcohol and pills that she bought. Marcus goes to the beach and saves her from the drowning in the water, and then gets her to the hospital, only to have her parents completely freak out on him and blame him for Evie’s downward spiral. Needless to say, they don’t allow Marcus to see Evie or even bother to tell him if she’s okay. Marcus doesn’t know how to cope with the things he learned about Evie…but he spends some time wondering if perhaps he could have done something to help her.
“I thought if I loved you enough, if I came running every time you called, maybe that would save you. If I said yes every time you asked for anything. If I never said no.”
Marcus spends his time trying to find some way to get in contact with Evie – he knows he is in love with her and can’t accept that they aren’t allowed to be together, but Evie’s sister doesn’t want to talk to him when he tracks her down at school, Evie’s friend Cole (who works at the coffee shop) doesn’t know anything about what’s going on with Evie, and of course, Evie’s parents refuse to let him see Evie. They’ve even gone so far as to call the police on him when he showed up at their house asking if she was okay.
“Your tears were so loud, they drowned everything out. My thoughts, my feelings – just whispers compared to your screams.”
While Marcus is dealing with all of this, he is also dealing with his own demons – the death of his brother, David, which is still weighing heavily on his heart, as well as his mother’s reappearance after being gone for two years. To top it off, he lives with his father, who either doesn’t seem to know he exists or wants to spend even more time with him now. Marcus doesn’t know what to think, except for the fact that he really, really misses Evie and he doesn’t know how to deal with anything without her. But the more he learns about what is going on with Evie, and the fact that she might have never been sober around Marcus, he begins to wonder if the two of them actually had a real relationship at all.
“It’s not even a question of whether or not we were good for each other. It’s a question of whether we existed at all.”
The thing I liked most about this book is that it’s told from Marcus’s point of view, whereas Invincible was told from Evie’s. While we were introduced to Evie and read about her battling her cancer and drug addiction in the first book, it’s Marcus we get to learn all about this time around. Most of Marcus’s problems are emotional, and some of them include his missing his brother David, who was heavily intro drugs, missing his mother, who abandoned him two years ago and has now come back and wants to be a part of his life again, and feelings of neglect from his father. All of this coupled with his sadness and depression from being denied even simple information about a girl he loves makes things difficult for him to deal with. At first he spends a lot of time smoking weed and getting high, but he eventually decides he doesn’t even want to do that anymore, so he quits, and tries to make sense of everything. There are quite a few mentions of self-injury in this book – Marcus turns to cutting as a way to help ease all the unbearable pain he feels. The way that this subject is dealt with (and how Marcus talks about it) is surprising – I really didn’t expect it.
The chapters are told in three different ways: first we have the “here” chapters, which are about Marcus in the present day, such as the issues he faces with Evie. There are also chapters labeled the “there” chapters, which are about his past – including events leading up to his brother David’s death, his mother leaving, etc. Finally, we have the chapters labeled “you,” which are special chapters about Evie…thoughts he has about her, feelings, and so on. The way this book is set up makes it even more unique – it’s a nice format and it definitely works well for getting that extra emotional punch in there.
If you’ve read Invincible (which I gave a rare 5 stars), then you’re definitely not going to want to miss this one, because it continues the story where we left off. While we don’t get to see Marcus and Evie together too much (which is kind of a bummer), we do learn all about Marcus so it really makes up for it. I loved how in depth we got with his character this time around – it really rounded out the duology and definitely made it even better!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.