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213 pages, ebook
First published August 23, 2016
“This was a side of him I knew existed from the brief times he had let me inside his world, but each time these volatile thoughts of his dispersed, I was left wondering if I had imagined it all.”
“His breathing changed, his eyelids fluttered, and my heart began to pound. He wasn’t meant to wake up while I was staring at him. In a flash, his eyes opened and focused on mine.”
“He stood close. Close enough for me to imagine his presence touching mine. Somehow the lack of touch made it more intimate.”
Multi-layered and organic, Volatile is a well-written Young Adult story about two beautiful souls, Dante and Chris.
With Dante, we get a complex and tortured violin virtuoso who meets Chris, a 20-yr-old college student, at the after party following one of his concerts. From the moment they set eyes on each other, you can sense the chemistry between them but seeing how young Chris was, I knew we were in for a bumpy and agonizing ride as he clearly lacked the sophistication or maturity needed in dealing with the artistic genius that was Dante.
Chris goes from being a college student who had recently lost a parent to becoming Dante's temporary assistant and almost immediately, he starts to fall in love with him. As we journey across Europe with these two, emotions deepen and yet, the distance between them remains wide which leaves Chris falling into despair. The signals from Dante are mixed but when Dante's very traditional parents join the fray, well, Chris had had enough.
Ms. Winter wrote the characters with such simplicity and their emotions with such fierceness. I walked this journey with Chris and Dante and I wanted them both to get out of their own way and take a chance on each other..
I can't say enough great things about this story. The dialogue was smart, the prose, concise and the premise was interesting and different. There are far too many YA books with the insta-lust/bad boy whore/college campus theme and it's refreshing to see Winters explore an alternate dimension that was utterly captivating.
There are very few books that I have on my read-again list but this one has earned its place on that list.
"As if he heard me, his eyes opened. Lashes flashing, those pale eyes landed on me, and they seemed to see right through me, right into my very core.
I can't do this, I thought, but I couldn't look away, I couldn't blink.
His eyes held me locked in place, and it felt like it was only he and I, alone in the swirling snow. No one else mattered. He played for me, filling my being with the emotions latched onto every note leaving his violin.
Only us, there was only us, no one else."