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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Luke & Violet both have fucked up pasts. Luke’s father walked out on them pretty early on and his druggie mother made him do things no child should ever have to deal with. Violet’s parents were murdered when she was a child and from then on she bounced from foster family to foster family, no one really wanted to keep the angry girls who’d spent a day in the house with her dead parents. From the first moment the two start talking, they argue and fight, but somewhere in the fighting, they can both tell that they have something in common and just maybe they can help each other.
Violet is a pretty strong character, she’s determined to be independent and self-sufficient even if it kills her. It’s better to fight for yourself than depend on someone who is eventually going to leave, right? Her resolve to trust no one was both admirable and depressing. No family and no friends can be a terribly lonely life and no one deserves that. Watching her fight with herself on whether or not to accept Luke’s help had me on edge because, for a moment, I really didn’t think she’d allow him to assist her at all, stubbornly refusing help even when going at it alone would make things worse for her. She relents though, at least letting him help her to class when she really couldn’t walk.
Luke is just as stubborn. He desperately needs somewhere to stay for the summer because he refuses to go home, but he can’t bring himself to ask his dad, who recently reappeared in his life, for help. He’s normal routine is drink himself to oblivion and find a girl willing to give sexual favors, no strings attached. He’s not the type to help someone out just for the hell of it, but from the moment Violet literally fell into his life, he can’t stop worrying about her and what made her jump out that window. Trying to determine whether or not she’s suicidal takes up more of his brain-space than he ever thought possible and he finds himself trying to help her even when it’s obvious she doesn’t want it.
Just like all of Sorensen’s couples, Violet & Luke are prefect together. When he’s with her, he cuts down on his drinking and she’s not off the rails crazy looking for an adrenaline fix. They both kind of even the other out and help cope with the fucked up pasts. Watching them fight with themselves and each other was way too enthralling and you can’t help but root for them. My problem was simply that it was a bit too predictable. <spoiler>From the first page that Luke mentions he mom came home covered in blood, I KNEW she was involved in Violet’s parents murders. It was so obvious that you’d have to be blind to not see it coming. How she was involved and who the guy with her was, I have no idea, maybe her dealer, but I knew it was her.</spoiler> Another problem was the cliffhanger. I mean, I know I should always expect one with Jessica Sorensen, but I’m always hoping she’ll give that particular tactic a break. I think she enjoys torturing her poor fans because that ending was horrid. What makes it worse is that you don’t even realize it’s the end! On the E-ARC I read, it ends when your kindle shows 87% finished. So I’m reading and I go to the next chapter…and it’s an excerpt from The Redemption Of Callie & Kayden and then adds for similar novels and that’s it. I mean, I get that when we got to like 95% the book is over, but this one has the added bonus of allowing you to believe you’ve got more to read but you don’t. God I fucking hate cliffhangers. They are so damn frustrating, especially since there isn’t a release date for the next one yet. ::dies::
The only other issue was I thought we’d get a bit more of Callie and Kayden. I mean, Kayden is Luke’s bestie, so you’d assume Luke would clue him in on the whole homeless thing. But if he did, then I guess Kayden didn’t care. We get a scene or two with them, but not very much at all. It’s not really a big deal though and I can see why we’d want to focus solely on Violet & Luke.
Sorensen really has a talent for writing twisted characters who are so internally tortured that they can’t see a logical way out. She’s always got a talent for writing steamy love scenes and swoon-worthy male leads. Luke may be a dick to many people, but once he latches onto someone and makes that conscious decision to be connected to them, he becomes a whole different person. One thing is certain, I’m dying to get my hands on the next book (or the next two books because we all know the next one will have just as bad of an ending) because I need to know how they resolve their issues. I know they will, I know they’ll find a way back to each other, but it’s the how that’s important, right?
****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****