by Kylie Scott
Release Date: May 23rd 2017
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Find It: Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.
After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.
Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.
I have to admit, when I first saw this cover (and without reading the synopsis) I was under the impression that this was a new adult/adult book. The first chapter informed me otherwise… this is labeled as YA! I did read on Kylie Scott’s website after the fact that this is her first YA book. (and hopefully not her last!) Though I understand that characterization since this story is set in high school and has a very realistic senior year vibe going on, I would say it’s definitely an older 17+ YA story, as it addresses several very sensitive issues that would not be suitable for younger teen readers.
“It’s okay to be afraid, Edie. You just can’t let it stop you from doing anything.”
This story starts off with a bang. Literally. Edie is in a convenience store grabbing a few snacks for a girls night with her bestie, when it gets robbed at gunpoint. Edie, along with the meth-head gunman and two other customers, is basically held for ransom until the cops agree to give the gunman his demands. The other two kids in the store end up helping Edie more than she can ever imagine. One loses his life in the struggle, while the other, John, is responsible for them getting out of it alive.
“He’s the only one who gets me. Who knows what it was like, going through what happened that night … And he’s the only one I know for sure would risk himself to keep me safe.”
Edie and John, though complete opposites for the most part, have one very important thing in common. They were both there that night. They are the only two people that truly understanding how it felt to be a part of such a traumatic incident. John, one of the most popular and best looking guys at school, finds himself drawn to Edie, the softspoken loaner of sorts. Edie has become much tougher since the incident, but it hasn’t helped her shed her issues of self-confidence entirely. She doesn’t allow others to make fun of her for being overweight anymore, that’s for sure! (Go, Edie!!) But she also begins to not care so much about school and other “mundane” things in life, after almost losing hers entirely.
I absolutely adored these two. Their friendship was total friendship goals, if you ask me. I loved how tirelessly and unconditionally they were there for each other at all times, at all costs. I respected their bond and how these two shared something extremely special. And I loved how their relationship started out so innocently, building a friendship on one single event that brought them together.
This story addressed several tough issues as well. PTSD was a strong one in this story, as Edie had quite a tough time in the aftermath of this horrific event. John also suffered quite a bit, especially with the similarities this gunman had to a family member of his. Other important issues were addressed as well, include drug sale and use, sexual activity, and some violence. I truly respected the way Kylie Scott went about addressing a sexual act for the first time, and not sugarcoating it in any way. Also the way a “drug dealer” can be stereotyped in the worst possible way, regardless of their present activity, growth and change.
One of my favorite aspects of this story were the awesome friendships. After Edie switches schools she has the pleasure of meeting Hang, a fun-loving and accepting teen, who she quickly becomes besties with. Hang is such a wonderful friend, as Edie is to her, and I loved how these two found their way to such a strong and accepting friendship, regardless of the bumps in the road. John and Anders’ bromance was one of my faves!! These two best buds were so adorable, I just couldn’t get enough. Give me more Anders, please!!
I was so pleasantly shocked by this book. I had no idea what I was getting into it. I didn’t know the emotions I would feel, the sadness and heartache that would hit me so hard, the sheer fear I would find in my heart, and the hopeful feeling I would be left with. This book has so much to offer, and I truly hope more readers get to experience it’s awesomness. This is one I would definitely recommend, you guys. I’m definitely going to read more by Kylie Scott now!! (And can we PLEASE get an Anders book?! PLEASE!! ♥ ) This is the perfect book for fans of Katie McGarry and Jamie McGuire. A bit more angsty than the normal YA, though filled to the brim with a strong, adorable and swoony romance.