This should definitely be on everyone's currently reading list right now and I imagine it won’t be long before it is. I feel like I've just discovered 'the next big thing' and I want to shout it from the roof tops. It's not too often that I rave to my non-reader friends and boyfriend about a book but this is definitely one of those times I am doing just that. I may even give up my kindle for a couple of days just so that I can share this story with someone else. Maybe.
There were so many things I loved about this story. The pace was perfect, not too drawn out to lose my interest and not too rushed to feel like too much was happening too soon. We were given enough information, at the right times for this story to flow effortlessly. I particularly enjoyed how slowly the story snuck up on me. It wasn't all in your face overly-angsty or dramatic. There was a constant undercurrent of raw emotion and tension throughout which was so believable and honest that I couldn't help but be swept away with it. I’ve read a few books lately that try dismally to do what this book did without even trying. It was so refreshing and has reignited my love of YA fiction. When done well it is oh so good.
I can count on one hand how many times a book or movie has made me cry. This book brings that total to 3 times. Ever. It shows how emotionally invested I was in the story. For those who may know the event which triggered my all-out sobbing reaction I can tell you it wasn't even the shock of what happened which made me cry. It was the build up of both of these character's stories and devastating events they'd both endured. It was the realisation that terrible shit can happen to anyone, especially those who least deserve it, which is totally out of their control. It was as if I'd been walking along a tightrope while reading this story and with the realisation of how much these two had endured I fell off, shattered, devastated, heartbroken, emotionally spent for Nastya and Josh. I felt that no matter what they’d both already been through in life, it didn’t even come close to prepare either of them for how they could break each other even more. Considering what they’d already endured it was heartbreaking to discover how much they could hurt each other. Neither deserved or intended it.
Whilst this story is tragic, sad and heartbreaking it’s also funny, endearing and hopeful. After all, it’s about second chances. Giving and taking.
On a final note, I hope (urge and plead) that Ms Millay is holed away somewhere working on her next novel. I can’t wait for it. The world should be full of Josh Bennetts. But it’s not. I had the only one. And I threw him away.
I hope everyone finds their Josh Bennet one day.