After a horrible accident in which he lost his best friend, Josh has been struggling with guilt. He has been torturing himself for the choices that he made and blames himself for his best friend's death. When he meets Willow, things start to get better for the first time since the accident. Willow helps him deal with his guilt and the panic attacks that he experiences, and he finally starts to really feel like living again. But Willow is dealing with her own problems and refuses to let anyone in. The closer that Josh and Willow get, the more she tries to push him away and keep him out. Josh wants to help her the same way that she has helped him though and refuses to give up. But when Willow's past starts to catch up with her, things quickly go from bad to worse and Josh is left feeling even more left out than he did before.
I really liked Josh. He was sweet and smart, but really vulnerable. He was struggling so much, and you could tell how hard it was to start to let someone in again. But once he started to let Willow see everything that had happened to him he really started to heal. I thought it was great that Josh was able to start fixing the relationship with his mother also, and it was nice to see her with Josh and Willow having dinner and spending time together. Willow on the other hand drove me nuts. I wasn't ever able to connect with her character. She was flighty and confusing, and I didn't understand any of what she was doing. I felt like she was constantly pushing and pulling when it came to Josh, and as much as she did to help him she was also hurting him as well. It really irritated me that she was always pushing him to get out of his comfort zone and wanted him to tell her everything and get over his fears but she wasn't willing to do the same. She pretty much forced him to face his fears of driving and yet she couldn't even open up about anything real in her life. While I thought that they had some chemistry between them and got along great, it was hard to really believe in their feelings for one another because I felt like Josh didn't really know Willow. That wasn't Josh's fault, but rather Willow's because she never let him.
Overall, I think that this book was a promising start to the series and I am interested to see what happens next for Josh and Willow. I do think that their feelings of love felt rushed and unrealistic considering that they really didn't know one another. Josh had opened up but Willow was still a complete mystery. I really hope that in the next book that Willow is finally able to start letting Josh in and that we start getting some answers when it comes to her story. It is really hard to root for a heroine that repeatedly runs hot and cold without ever revealing anything about herself. I think Willow has a lot of work ahead of her to redeem herself to Josh and readers. I will say that this book definitely deals with those that are broken and damaged, and has a darker and more gritty feel than most NA reads. I think if that is what you are looking for then you might give this one a shot. I look forward to seeing where Kate Givans goes with these characters in the future.
**ARC Provided by A Little Bit of R&R**
Purchase: | Amazon |