Siblings Riley and Aidan Gordon are survivors. Together, they survived an abusive childhood, and when a fiery accident incinerates all they have—except for each other—they survive that, too. The tragedy leaves them with burdens and pain beyond their years, but it also sets them free to forge their own paths. Aidan’s road to happiness seems smooth and carefree. But Riley continues to struggle, her only saving grace being a passion for music that helps soothe her damaged soul. As their paths diverge and college looms, Riley will have to depend less on Aidan and more on herself. Fear of failure drives her, but will finding love derail her single-minded determination to succeed, or will it open the door to the family she’s always wanted?
I received this book from NetGalley for review.
This book, oh man this book.
At first, I wasn't really into the story and writing. The story felt like things I have read before, and the writing was just okay. The characters were a little boring, and cookie cutter for this kind of story. I also found most of the book pretty predictable too.
All that being said. This book made me cry. Even though I expected that thing that happened that made me cry to happen, I still cried. The story remained pretty predictable, and the characters were still pretty average. But I really enjoyed this book. It got me right in the feels.
Riley didn't have that much character development, and in a way, that was more believable than a person who has only known bullying and abuse from everybody except her brother to suddenly have a bunch of confidence when she gets to college.
Aidan was mostly not in this book. His presence was mostly there through the letters they wrote each other once Riley went to college. I assumed he would have more of a presence. But he was a refreshing character. He was possibly the only unique character type in this kind of book.
Riley's struggle while it's been told many times in many different ways, was made slightly different with her being into girls. Though it was kind of central to her character, there wasn't any drama added to the story with her coming out. She just was a lesbian and it was left as that. She was just a person who had a different sexual orientation. It was handled in a way that made her a person first and her orientation was just part of who she was. I appreciated that.
One thing that didn't make a lot of sense to me, was the way the kids were handled at the start of the book, and in the group home, CPS. I felt that it wasn't very accurate.
This was an enjoyable read, and it made me cry.