This book was a little bitter sweet for me. There were SO many things that I absolutely loved, yet it was just way too slow of a burn for me to get through fast enough to really appreciate the great qualities. I feel like at least a quarter of the book, if not more, could have been done without, and then I would have rated it a 5 plus easily!
Catherine and Elliott are teenagers who fall into the real kind of love that is deep rooted and far more mature than what either of them are prepared for at their age. I love Elliott. He’s wise beyond his years, patient, level headed and caring. His family life is dicey. With a mother who’s been abused on multiple occasions, yet always goes back for more, he’s witnessed more than a child should throughout his life. Occasionally, when things get really bad, he goes to stay with his aunt Lynn. I really like her! It was during one of his summer stays with his Aunt that Elliott met Catherine.
Catherine has one hell of a family life herself. Her mother is nuts, and her father isn’t in the picture near long enough! (I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that) I really liked Catherine’s father, so I wish he wouldn’t have exited the book when he did. In many ways it made the rest of the story possible, but in other ways it really put a damper on things.
The summer that Catherine and Elliott met, they were inseparable. They had so much in common and were exactly what each other needed. Each offering the other a shoulder to lean on in tough times. They took things slow and moved only as friends, close friends, but the bond that they formed was one that would last no mater what ups and downs they either went through or even put eachother through later on (most Catherine! She got a little hard to handle at times. I actually had to remind myself that she was infact a teen with a hard life, and had to force myself not to hold her actions against her.)
Elliott was forced away from Catherine on the worst day of her life, and wasn’t allowed to explain himself or to see her for quite some time. Eventually his mother allowed him back, where he made friends, played football, and got to get close to Catherine again. From there their relationship had it’s ups and downs, but eventually love trumps all.
One thing about this book, is that there are a lot of aspects that come into play. There is mystery, suspense, love, hate, abuse, bullying, and more. The slow burn of it does bring about a sort of realty and a feel of slow time passing… but it was hard for me to handle the pace.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.
The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.