For Amanda Tart, living carelessly doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an option any time soon. Her older brother is getting out of prison for a drunk-driving accident on the night of his high school graduation, in which he chose to drive after drinking, and ended up killing a sophomore girl he was friends with, and severely injuring his girlfriend. Living with the constant reminder that she is the sister of Jonathan, the guy who drank too much and took the life of a good student, Amanda tries to keep to herself and looks forward to the day when she will see her brother again, and hopefully reclaim their close relationship.
However, when Jonathan is released from prison, he doesn’t seem like the same brother she remembers. He’s constantly drinking, even though he is on probation and drinking could land him right back in prison. When he meets a girl at Starbucks, the drinking gets worse, and when his ex-girlfriend Sutton, who was horribly injured in that car accident, starts attempting to get in touch with him again, things take a turn for the worse.
When Amanda starts spending more time with her ex-boyfriend Henry, who is also Sutton’s brother, she starts to realize that no one will ever know her quite like he does. Since they had no longer been in touch (Amanda felt guilty about it, since they were kissing at the party when the car crash occurred), she feels even more guilty about wanting to be with him now, and the fact that she has a boyfriend for almost a year. But Amanda can’t think of anyone else she needs to get through this difficult time, and continues to share moments with Henry throughout the book.
This book was heartbreaking. First, we have a horrible car accident that claims the life of a young girl, and injures another to the point where she can hardly walk. Second, when Jonathan’s finally released from prison after a year, he continues on a path of self destruction, because he cannot handle the pain that he had caused after making that horrible mistake of drinking and driving. Finally, we have Amanda, who feels so incredibly lost and doesn’t know where to turn – only to end up cheating on her current boyfriend with her ex-boyfriend, because she needs someone to understand her in a way that only he can. It’s quite depressing, and hard to read at parts…it’s a sad story that wraps up a message about drinking and driving in a way that you won’t forget anytime soon.
While I’m not a big fan on cheating, in this book I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Amanda, even if she wasn’t being faithful to her current boyfriend, Graham. She’s going through so many things that Graham can’t even fathom, and there’s Henry – completely understanding, and working hard to keep Sutton away from Jonathan, before she gets hurt even worse. Together the two of them try and figure out the situation, even if it isn’t the best time for them to have found each other again. It shows that when faced with difficulties in your life, you can often find peace with someone who you might not expect.
The beginning of this book was a little bit difficult for me…it felt a little bit slow, especially in comparison to the rest of the book. Once it got going though, it really took off, and exploded into this heart-wrenching story that will take your breath away.
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.