Struggling to keep her once happy family together after a painful loss, Maya moves to Alaska with her parents after her dad gets a job there. Maya had plans to attend a prestigious art school with a full scholarship, but was forced to walk away when she left California. Now she must resign herself to attending the tiny college in Kodiak that is smaller than her high school. In her art class there she meets Jake, and the attraction and chemistry is instant. Maya finds a connection with Jake that is undeniable. But Jake is also struggling with a lot. Jake must balance work, school and providing for his sick mother. Jake is not looking for a relationship, but something about Maya makes him want to get to know her and spend time with her. But as Maya's family continues to get worse, and Jake's mom's condition deteriorates, will they find a way to get through it together?
I liked Jake and Maya, however I felt like I was never really able to connect with them. They were both really good people and they put others first. Maya gave up so much to move with her family and she really tried to help her mother with her drinking. She was a good friend and I liked her with Jake. I thought that they were both able to relate to each other because of everything that they had been through. Jake was such a hard worker. He not only went to school and did what he could to make money, but he sent money to his mom and did everything that he could to help support her. He would have given up everything to help her, and I really admired that. While I did feel the attraction between Jake and Maya, I just never was able to really feel their connection. I thought that they had a lot in common, but it just never really came together for me.
I thought that this story was sweet. It had a lot of great moments and I liked the two main characters. But I did struggle a lot with the parents of these characters. I know that Jake's mom was going through a lot, but I did not understand the reason for her to have not kicked Wayne out. It was ridiculous that she would allow him to treat herself and Jake the way that he did, and I saw no reason for her not to have taken action. I flat out didn't like Maya's mom, and didn't understand her dad at all. While I thought that this story had a lot of potential, I felt like it just didn't deliver. It was hard for me to get into and felt really slow most of the way through. I found my attention wandering and it just didn't really hold my interest. I kept putting it down and there wasn't a lot that made me want to pick it back up. I was hoping for something new and original, but besides the location I felt like this was similar to a lot of other NA books already out there. If you are looking for a sweet NA read you might give this one a chance. But if you are looking for something exciting or new, this might not be the story for you.
**ARC Provided by Bloomsbury**
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