“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”
On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of.
She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just…but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choice. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.
When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.
Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe? (Goodreads)
Hi guys! Firstly I have to thank Clean Teen Publishing for dropping this little gem into my inbox this morning! This book was released on the 10th and I am glad that I got a copy to review!
Where to begin?? From the very first page I was flung onto a roller coaster ride, which I am happy to say I survived! I wasn’t quite expecting what I got, especially so early on in the book without any sort of forewarning or lead up to it. In short – I was shocked! I guess shocked in a good way because I feel like I got more than I bargained for when I requested this book.
My heart leapt out of my chest to Willow throughout this book. I wanted to swoop in and save her – just like Brody wanted too. I just felt so angry and sorry for her and I felt almost helpless. It is kind of a weird feeling to feel helplessness at a fictional story that you are reading. There were times within the story where I wanted more “grit”. I wanted to see some of the stuff that was happening to her – not just find out about it afterward like I was one of her friends. When I got what I wished for, however, I just had tears streaming down my face. This wasn’t like a graceful tear… oh no no no. This was a blubbering, snotty messball of tears. The worst thing – I wasn’t even prepared! I didn’t have that much needed box of tissues by my side. So, thank you for that, Michelle.
I like the way that the author handled such a taboo subject and how she represented the unwillingness of Willow to talk about it. She kept a lot of secrets that weighed her down and, as a reader, you felt like you wanted to help her and lighten her burden a bit. I feel like she represented public reactions well as well as the reaction of the receiver.
What I would have liked to have seen was what happened to Jaden at the end. I would have liked to have seen him punished in some way and I don’t feel that what happened to him was enough. I just wanted to see him suffer just as much as Willow did. Maybe that’s just the hatred talking.
That ending though! I was going through a whole ride of emotions that I didn’t even know where to begin. I was a mess all over. I was happy, angry, sad and disappointed. I still don’t know how to bring my frayed emotions into order. So, thank you Michelle for creating this masterpiece, and thank you Clean Teen Publishing for giving me a copy!
I gave this book 4/5 stars! I definitely need more from this author! 🙂