MY REVIEW 4 STARS:
Although this isn’t one of my favorites of Colleen’s books, it still struck a deep chord. It’s full of grief, heartache, crossed lines and the ultimate betrayal. The book starts out 17 years in the past, when the main character Morgan finds out that she’s pregnant. Chris, her highschool boyfriend and the father of her unborn child is all she’s ever known. She’s content with him, but there’s something about Jonah, their friend and also the boyfriend of her little sister, that leaves her inexplicably uneasy and breathless. They have a connection, one that her relationship with Chris lacks. Yet, because she’s pregnant and she loves her little sister so much, these feelings are never acted on. Jonah finds out about the baby and leaves town… for YEARS!
Jonah just up and skips out on all of them. Jenny, his girlfriend/Morgan’s little sister, Morgan herself, and even Chris, his very best friend. He doesn’t speak to them again until years later when he and Jenny meet up due to a funeral and wind up fooling around… and what do you know, Jenny turns out pregnant –but let’s go back to the past–. To them, it seems like a dick move that he left. Little do they know it’s the most selfless thing he could have possibly done. He doesn’t mind looking like the jerk in order to ensure that Morgan has a chance at happiness with Chris and their child. He knows deep down that the connection between him and Morgan is real. The pull to one another is unavoidable, and him staying close would only cause problems for everyone. So he spends his days unattached and aching to be with the woman he’s always known in his heart is truly his.
However, things aren’t always that easy! Sometimes you can’t escape real matters of the heart, with merely a physical distance to separate you from whatever it is you’ve run from.
The book then jumps to the present, 17 years into the future when Chris and Morgan are supposedly happily married and their daughter, Clara, is rapidly entering adulthood. I love love love Clara. She’s witty, smart, down to earth, and just a downright sweetheart. She pulls good grades, cares about her future, and actually gives a shit about things that lots of naive teens don’t. She also has a best friend that has the coolest sense of dry humor.
What I love about this book is that there’s a love story within a love story. Although Morgan, Chris, Jenny, and Jonah’s story winds up being so very twisty and shocking (and very necessarily depressing in order to really drive the point home!), but Clara has a love story too. One that’s pure, and sweet, and very real. Miller is a boy in her class that her father banned her from seeing. He’s a boy that has secretly been in love with Clara for a few long adolescent years, and is finally secure enough to act on it.
Jonah, after moving back home to have a family with Jenny and their newborn child is now a teacher in their highschool. He encourages Clara and Miller to work on a project together despite Chris’ initial reaction of Miller based merely on family history. Eventually they DO work on the project together, but they also develop quite the dynamical relationship. I can’t really give away much more of the plot, because like I said, it’s TWISTY. I will however say, don’t read it unless you’re in a place that you can feel rather down and depressed for a couple days. It pulls you in, like all Hoover books do!! There’s a LOT of sadness and grief.
The #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller that People Magazine calls “a poignant, addictive read.”
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.