This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Released on September 1, 2014
Whew! *wipes sweat from brow* That was a workout for my emotions. I knew this novella would be impactive and a tough read, but knowing and experiencing are not the same. Bottomline? I’m glad the author wrote this one and that I was brave enough to read it though I was almost a coward and skipped it because I was afraid of the feels it would cause.
What’s with the moans and groans you ask? Well, see, this was a prequel to Ten Tiny Breaths (yeah, that book which I’m still recovering from) and it covers everything from the beginning in Cole/Trent’s first person point of view. It was a tough read, but it was also insightful to finally get inside his head and know what he was thinking and feeling, but most of all it answered the ‘why’s of his actions in the Ten Tiny Breaths story. It also incidentally gives details into Kacey’s doings at that time too. And the sessions with everyone’s favorite therapist were just priceless as usual. My heart was breaking for all those affected by this accident and it was misery to accompany Cole through his darkest times, but at the same time I marveled at how well-written this was. It never rang false with me.
In summary, Cole wakes up alive after the accident caused by drunk driving that took the lives of his two best friends and the four people in the other car and irrevocably altered the lives of even more including himself and the other survivor of the accident, Kacey Cleary. He has to learn to live with his part in this horrific tragedy. He comes through a different person and even changes his name from Cole to Trent, but somewhere along the way he has fallen in love with the girl whose life he destroyed.
Trent narrates in brutal honesty his spiral to rock bottom, his apathy and then his struggles to deal with the guilt he feels as the only one left who can take the blame. And then finally, the firming up of his resolve to take a certain line of action in his gamble to find resolution and forgiveness.
As this story is cyclical, in that it takes the series right back to the beginning, I’m keen on marching right into Ten Tiny Breaths from here to see how having the novella in my mind changes my impressions of all that came after. I will definitely miss this series and mourn the loss of no new releases to look forward to.
I wouldn’t recommend reading this one out of order or as a standalone as it doesn’t work well in isolation and only tends to make good sense after reading Ten Tiny Breaths. That being said, I can easily recommend this series to those who enjoy Contemporary New Adult Romance that don’t find love the easy way.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.