I don't think I have the words to do this book justice. I'm just going to say that I don't give out 5 stars lightly but this one deserves every last o...more I don't think I have the words to do this book justice. I'm just going to say that I don't give out 5 stars lightly but this one deserves every last one of them.
Everything in this story felt so real and alive. The characters, the environment and atmosphere, it all sucked me into a world I didn't want to be in, but at the same time, I just couldn't leave it. I needed Alex and Seb to be safe and happy.
This was a raw and emotional read. I was rooting and praying for Alex and Seb until the very end. It made me angry and brought me to tears, but there was always some hope and I clung to it with everything I had. It was amazing because even through the sadness, the author managed to make me smile. It was beautifully written. Alex is just a child who had to struggle for everything, love, acceptance, the basic necessities of life, like a pair of shoes. Both Alex and Seb showed so much courage and strength but under all that they were both scared children who wanted someone to love them and take care of them. Their relationship was a true friendship and even in this cruel and devastating world they had to live in, there was still an innocence about them.
This was a journey of friendship and love where two people found pure happiness in a dollar meal burger, a ride on a Ferris wheel, playing in the sand, or in one of Seb's smirks. They didn't always make the right decisions, but how could they? They were abused children living in poverty, who had no one to hold them and tell them everything would be alright, but somehow they found a will and desire for more.
This was a journey of two boys who were able to find safety and peace within each other. (less)
This was my first Kelley York book and for the most part I enjoyed it. However, it was too melodramatic for me and the eve...more 2.5 stars rounding up to 3.
This was my first Kelley York book and for the most part I enjoyed it. However, it was too melodramatic for me and the events were so OTT and extreme that I had a hard time believing them. I like reading about dark and messed up characters (believe me these characters have major issues), but there was so much going on that I had a hard time even suspending disbelief. It ended up being predictable and cliché. (view spoiler)[ I couldn't get over the fact that Archer committed murder after murder and Evan barely blinked an eye. I really wish we knew more about what Evan was thinking and feeling. I also had an eye-rolling moment when Vivian shot Archer and then killed herself. (hide spoiler)]I knew all along this would happen. It was an easy out for Archer. At least the ending wasn't all flowers and rainbows. That would have been put me right over the edge. I'm glad Archer got (view spoiler)[the help he needed and wasn't allowed to run around the streets like nothing happened. (hide spoiler)]
York was able to get me to care for Archer and that wasn't easy considering what he's done. Hopefully my next read of York's will more believable.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
1.5 Stars: I'm only rounding this up because something actually started happening in the final few chapters.
For starters I think I had my expectations...more 1.5 Stars: I'm only rounding this up because something actually started happening in the final few chapters.
For starters I think I had my expectations way too high for this book. I expected more of a plot driven story. Unfortunately, despite what’s implied in the blurb and Lindsay's criminal profession, 90% of the book was about Pip and Lindsay’s relationship and the first 50% was all sex, which I didn't even think was that great. I thought Lindsay would bring Pip into his little gang of robbers and we’d get some intense action with a side of romance, but nope, no action until the last few chapters :( This dragged on and on and I was bored.
I don’t mind books that are character driven, in fact if it’s done right I love them, but unfortunately I thought these characters were under-developed and I couldn't connect to them, especially to Lindsay. I did not understand Lindsay’s sexual sadism side. There was just nothing there to connect me to him or his needs. He was constantly disciplining Pip and it seemed more important for Lindsay to straighten Pip out and to get him to grow up, than a part of his kink. Pip, I understood a little better and I liked his character. Although, sometimes his childish behavior got to me. He acted more like a spoiled 5 year old child rather than a young adult making immature decisions.
Ok, what did I like. I liked the British feel to the story and the dialogue. The reason I liked the dialogue was because I felt like something was actually happening. When we’re inside Lindsay’s head, nothing is going on! Regrettably those were the only redeeming qualifies about the book. It felt like a day in the life of Lindsay and Pip, with some BDSM thrown in and no substance behind their actions.
Of course I’m in the rare minority that feels this way *fistbump Aiko* but hey, that’s ok.
I hear the author is going to edit this book. So for anyone wanting to read this, I recommend waiting on the edited version because it is seriously needed. (less)
This book was like being on a seesaw. I'm going to be the odd one out here, but I didn't believe Zach's story. There were so many touching an...more2.5 Stars
This book was like being on a seesaw. I'm going to be the odd one out here, but I didn't believe Zach's story. There were so many touching and heart-wrenching parts that drew me in to Zach's pain and his heart but there was always something that tore me out of the story. Notably, pointless POV changes, frequent angsty misunderstandings, and head-hopping. This story had so much potential. There were some flashes of beautiful writing but as a whole it wasn't well executed.
I was happy the author didn't focus on the years that Zach spent in captivity but rather focused on Zach's recovery. I just wished we saw more of Zach dealing with his problems on his own rather than how it pertained to David and their relationship. Two years are skipped between the time Zach was rescued and when he meets up with David again. We see Zach continuing to deal with his trauma but we did not see the process that led to the point where Zach could begin to let David into his life. We didn't follow his journey or see any of his breakthroughs. We're just suppose to believe that Zach came out on the other side and is ready to love and be loved again. Personally I needed more and this is where I lost the connection to Zach. It seemed like the romance and the relationship were more important than Zach's recovery.
I understand that both MC's have constant self doubt, especially considering the circumstances, but I didn't believe in their struggle. All the misinterpretations and drama got old and didn't feel genuine. I hate to say this but it felt like the author was throwing all this in just to give it a "love can get you through anything" feel. Zach was tortured both physically and mentally, he was humiliated and is still suffering but many times this is lost and felt secondary to the repetitive and predictable melodrama. I ended up get extremely frustrated because in my eyes it trivialized what Zach was going through. It is a disservice to the book. I understand that this is a romance but did the romance have to only consist of: argument, world is ending, make-up, then wash, rinse, repeat? This is what ruined the book for me.
As far as the POV changes go, I didn't need to hear from either of Zach's parents, David's mother or the reporter. IMO, none of this added to the story. All the characters were dealing with the same emotions and issues and there was nothing new or different between them. The perfect parents and friends made the entire atmosphere seem fake. Everyone was so supportive and accepting, which again made me feel like the author was pushing the "everyone needs to be happy" button.
Also, why was every therapy session with Zach's parents? Obviously group therapy is needed but was it necessary for the story? It would have been much more believable if we saw Zach's solo therapy sessions. Zach was holding back so many times because he didn't want to discuss things in front of his parents. It doesn't make sense.
I also went back and forth with David too. I loved how David didn't coddle Zach or push him but at times he did some pretty bonehead things that were completely insensitive.
Between the predictable drama and the head-hopping, I didn't know where to turn.
To me, this was superficial with very little depth. It's difficult for me to brush these issues under the rug, especially when a book deals with such a serious subject matter. In the beginning, I really got pulled into Zach's story but ultimately I was disappointed.(less)