Well, she's done it again. Left me completely numb. Still trying to absorb everything I read, felt, and now want from the third book. I wish I new how...moreWell, she's done it again. Left me completely numb. Still trying to absorb everything I read, felt, and now want from the third book. I wish I new how to put my emotions toward this series into words. I don't know how to explain why I love it so much. I've seen people rate it like me with 4 and 5 stars. But then I've seen it rated as a 2 or a 3. Maybe I'm just looking too deeply into this series, but I would rate it higher than what I did if I could. The only other books I would do that for are The Hunger Games and Fever! So what is it that takes my breath away?
I just can't explain it. The turmoil that her characters go through... It's about life and choices, and love and regret, and pushing forward when everything around you is falling apart, when all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes and let it all just slip away. It's about learning how to stand on your own feet and be strong, and fight. It probably has more substance and meaning than any other YA/PNR books I've ever read, other than The Hunger Games.
This book was amazing. It held me captivated from the first page. No, really. The first page. There is something about Carrie Ryan that draws you in. She is the essence of what a storyteller truly is. She is the one who could keep fifty kids completely hypnotized by a campfire for hours with only her words. Her writing style is mesmerizing to me. Ryan knows exactly which emotions to play on to keep you completely absorbed in the book. She has a way of making you feel the pain of the characters, hear the hurt in their voices, see the hope in their eyes. When I read her work, I feel like I'm there. It's so descriptive I could get it confused with a movie I watched rather than thinking of it as a book I read. Her imagery is that vivid.
We get to know more about the characters from the first series, but they aren't the focus of the story this time. The new characters are connected to them in intriguing ways, which left my head spinning and my fingers itching to get the next book. The characters were amazing. They had flaws. Big ones. They had fears and made huge mistakes. They were real, not some make-believe perfection that comes swooping in to save the day like in so many YA books nowadays. Their actions were believable and left me feeling like I know them. Like we could have been friends.
In this second book, past secrets are brought to the surface, old friends thought long ago forgotten are not gone afterall, and the connections between them all left me saying No way and I want more! I love excitement, action, mystery, love and loss, and this series has it all and so much more. It takes an amazing author to make you feel like you've lost something, and gained something at the same time, once you close the book. Carry Ryan accomplishes that and much more with this series. I definitely recommend it as a Must Read!
Ok, I'm usually a sucker for happy endings. I mean, c'mon. Who doesn't want a happy ending, right? Well, you're not going to get one in this book! I c...moreOk, I'm usually a sucker for happy endings. I mean, c'mon. Who doesn't want a happy ending, right? Well, you're not going to get one in this book! I cried so hard. I mean, sobbed. Like a baby. Complete and utter makeup removal. My boyfriend came running in thinking I'd gone and hurt myself! Or it's that time of the month when I see a puppy commercial and lose all control over my tear ducts. Oh. No, neither is the case, honey. I'm just reading! He backed away slowly. Sudden realization and an intense desire to flee flashing across his face... Poor guy.
Yes, this book consumed me from start to finish. I loved it. No, I didn't get my happy ending, but I think that's why I loved it so much. It shocked me. It was unexpected and not the norm. I felt a heart-wrenching attachment to the characters, and wanted so badly to help them out and fix all their problems. I wanted that happy ending! But, I don't think it would have been the same any other way. It wouldn't have had the power it held over me.
Carrie Ryan shows true talent in this book. She pulls you in from the first page, makes you adore the characters to an almost maternal state, and then turns your world upside down. The story was beautiful, packed full of action, and even contained sincere life lessons on dreams, hope, regret, and most importantly, above all else, love.
If your entire world consisted of only what you were told, if you had no past other than what you could remember yourself, if everything you thought you knew was ripped from your grasp, would you follow your deepest dreams or your heart? Because sometimes, they may lead down separate paths, and you must choose.