Published August 6th 2013 | 374 pages
Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.
Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler’s remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only…is Sam ready for him to leave her?
When the black sheep of the Marks’ family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler’s case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother’s ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him…plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.
On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she’s unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.
I first picked up this book because of the many great reviews I saw for it on Goodreads. I liked the way this book started, I instantly felt connected to the characters and felt for their loss (seriously, I nearly cried by the 3rd chapter). But then the story went in a direction that I really just couldn’t get on board with.
When I first read this books blurb I was like “getting together with your dead finance’s brother? That’s messed up.” But I was intrigued. I read some really good reviews about it and wanted to see where the author went with the idea. But I was disappointed by how it was executed. The author was trying to constantly justify the relationship by pointing out that Sam and Holden did have a relationship before, but I disagree that one make out session in the rain 5 years ago counts as a relationship. There was also some downplaying of Sam and Tyler’s relationship towards the end that really bothered me. Just because Tyler is now dead and you’re moving on doesn’t mean that one love has to be better than the other! But that’s what I felt like I was being told. After Sam and Holden get together suddenly there’s a “Tyler and I were growing apart” speech and comparisons between the two, claiming Holden could reach her on a level that Tyler never got. I just don’t think that’s really fair.
I also originally thought the idea behind this story was really cool. A girl diagnosed with psychosis after her fiance dies? Pretty deep stuff. And Sam has problems. Serious mental problems. She’d been with Tyler since she was 15 years old and been best friends with him since they were in diapers. So naturally Tyler was a serious part of her life and tied up in her very soul, of course she nearly lost her mind when he died! So here’s my problem: she moved on WAY too fast. She jumped from one relationship to the next before she was even taking her meds regularly! It’s weird. Holden shouldn’t be jumping into a relationship with someone who clearly needs to get her mind in order. It just felt unrealistic and really bothered me! Sam needs to discover who she is on her own before she becomes totally dependent on another guy!! I would have preferred it if Holden and Sam could have formed more of a close friendship on their road trip by getting to know each other and working out their issues before they began having sex.
I loved Holden! His brutal honesty was really appreciated…
“Holy hell. She didn’t hold back at all, just let the full crazy fly.”
There was no sugar coating anything Holden had to say. I also loved how totally full of himself he was…
“I drop my feet to the floor and then saunter, like the sex god that I am, to the bathroom.”
Holden’s point of view chapters were my favourite in the book. He had a funny yet serious inner voice that I really enjoyed.
I also genuinely liked the big secret in the book. This secret certainly has a massive shock component to it, and since I’ve read a lot of books with lame and disappointing secrets, I thought this one was really great.
Oh and the sex scenes were massively hot. And I meant H-O-T-T HOT. Seriously turned up the heat. But unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to make me love, or even really like this book This story just wasn’t for me.