I want you to listen to me very carefully because you should not be confused by my rating of this book. This book is one that I may never forget. The writing was excellent and the characters were riveting. But when I tell you this shit was like a 8 car pile up on the freeway with body parts littered about and people crying on the side of the road, believe me.
Holden is the absolute worst leading male character I have ever read in my entire life. I can't tell you how many times I screamed 'OMG what a asshole' while reading about Holden. If Holden has redeeming qualities, I couldn't tell. At all. Holden is spoiled, irrational, heartless, selfish...insert whatever other word you can think of that means giant baby monster and you're on the right track. Holden is not just mean, he is cruel. But he's not cruel like a sadist Dom. No. He's cruel like a diabolical school yard bully and that shit is completely unattractive. When Holden has an opportunity to improve, he does the exact opposite. And the worst part about Holden is that he takes absolutely no responsibility for his horrific behavior. There are several pages in this book just devoted to Holden explaining how he did the worst thing ever (which he did at least 3 or 4 times) but it was someone else's fault for making him do it.
You know who is the second worst leading character I've ever read? Piper. How these two repugnant characters fit in one book was hard to even fathom. The only reason Piper comes in second to Holden is because there were very brief glimmers in this book where Piper was a human capable of love and empathy and not the selfish rancid bitch that she was during the majority of this book. When the book begins Piper has had to move back home to take care of her two step brothers because her Mother and Stepfather died. The boys are 11 and 15, so they're kids. And Piper is a fully grown adult but she hates the boys for shit from when they were babies. And by babies, I mean she is holding their infant and toddler years against them. As a result of that, she is awful to these children. She doesn't even feed them sometimes and she says, in her internal monologue, they can fend for themselves or she hopes the 15 year old will take care of the 11 year old. She leaves them alone all the time either on made up missions to get her out of the house or so she can go to the local BDSM club to bang strangers. I have no problem with the banging of strangers but leaving kids at home alone or letting them have other kids over unattended, just WHAT the hell?
And then these two independently awful characters hook up with one another and it's an absolute shit show. Two people this selfish should never be together. Of course, Holden treats Piper like something he stepped in and can't get off his shoe and Piper keeps coming back for more. And you know what? I absolutely did not care, both of these two deserved each other and deserved all the horrible things they did to one another.
The only reason I kept reading this book when I was utterly disgusted was because I expected the author to somehow redeem these two miscreants. I thought they were going to have some kind of epiphany and I was waiting to see how things would turn around. It doesn't ever happen. While there might be glimmers of hope for Piper, you never see a better Holden and we never get to see these characters be better together. The book does a time leap at the end and the author tells us that Holden and Piper get better and love each other but we just have to take the authors word for it because it never comes across.
I'm giving this book two stars for writing and for getting me to finish a book about two people that I sincerely hated. I would have been perfectly fine if these two butt holes had not wound up together. The only decent characters in this book are the family members of Piper and Holden who deserve far better than relatives like Piper and Holden.
**ARC provided by Give Me Books**
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