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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Quinton Carter isn't quite sure that he is ready for the real world, but he has to deal with it none the less. Today is his first day out of rehab and temptation is everywhere. The only thing keeping him straight, beyond the desire to improve his life, is Nova. Nova, the girl who was hellbound to pull him out of his addiction and back into the light. He knows he loves her but he isn't quite ready for a relationship with her...yet. Nova's life has settled back into a normal routine. College, playing in her band, and rooming with her best friends definitely has it's perks. And now she has one more thing to look forward to, talking to Quinton each day. But before their relationship can progress on it's own, tragedy strikes, pushing Nova into Quinton's arms, whether his ready or not. Can he man up and be there for her like she was for him or will he let her down?
Can I just give Nova a hug? Nova remains the sweetest character I've ever read. She has the ability to come off as caring and sympathetic without seeming overly naive or annoying. And she gets put through the wringer for it. For the majority of this novel, I just kept screaming "What about Nova?" because I couldn't stop myself. She spends all her time (or at at least the majority of it) worrying over everyone and making sure their lives are working out right. Making sure Tristan stays off drugs, keep up with Quinton's progress and talking him through his problems, and worrying over old friends that are beyond her help. But no one is worried over her and they really should be. Quinton is too wrapped up in his recovery (rightly so), Tristan is too caught up in his obvious "secret" feelings for Nova, and Lea is too wrapped up in her secrets to take the time to find out whats bugging Nova. It gets to the point that I'm surprised the poor girl didn't explode. Her genuine need to help everyone around her and her ability to care so deeply for people is something I envy. I lack that sympathy/empathy gene. With novel characters, I can see through their eyes and really <i>feel</i> what they are going through, but with real people? I freeze. I can't seem to find it in me to have the compassion to care if I don't know them.
Quinton, dear sweet Quinton, is fighting so hard to avoid drugs that we don't see much else. He is trying to learn to let go of his past and stay away from his addictions and it's incredibly difficult because he knows exactly where to go to get his hands on the drugs. It would be as easy as breathing to acquire them and just bliss-out for an hour or two. But the consequences far outweigh the benefits, and even though he knows that, fighting the need for drugs is still difficult. He leans on Nova, probably more than he should, and spends so much time worrying over whether or not he is ready for a relationship that he gives no consideration to what she is going through. No thought to how much pressure she puts on herself to keep Tristan straight and help everyone she can. He's being utterly selfish in his behavior, but it's hard to chastise him for it, knowing all he is going through.
Then there is Lea and Tristan. Though Tristan does some unapproved things here, I genuinely want to see him stay off drugs and succeed in life. He needs to get over the Nova thing though. I don't understand how he lets the Nova thing continue when he KNOWS her feelings for Quinton and he knows Quinton's feelings for her. He should have just let it drop. But ultimately, we know he is still on the back to good road and I hope like hell he stays there. Lea, however, I was not a fan of here. In Saving Quinton, I loved her. She pushed Nova just the right amount and was there for her at the right times. Here, she has more or less abandoned Nova. Her supposed best friend and she hasn't even shared what she's been doing after class or why she's never home anymore. ****SPOILER****Or the fact that she has started a band or is dating a football player or that her band needs a part time drummer which she plans on forcing Nova into taking on, despite the fact that she knows it'll make Nova's current band angry.****END SPOILER**** She more or less decides Nova can't handle the truth and just withholds it and avoids her. She went from being a character I really liked to one I really didn't and that kinda sucked.
This novel proves that Sorensen's writing just gets better and better. It's the first novel in this series that really felt more like a romance...which sounds like an insult, but it really isn't. I started reading Sorensen's novels simply because the original cover of The Secret Of Ella & Micha was gorgeous and it looked romance-y. That's it. Call me shallow, but that cover called to me and buying it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not just because I have a physical copy of the amazing original cover instead of that carbon copied crap the publisher smacked on it (no offense Forever, but that cover sucked). I don't understand why Callie & Kayden got to keep their original covers but Ella & Micha needed to change. The newer mass market paperback cover is pretty, but I still prefer the original. ANYWAY....My point is that it's a huge compliment that I say this is more romancey. This particular series has had more of a heartbreaking dark side than any of her previous work, in my opinion, and I'm glad that the characters finally came to a point where romance was really an option. When you are constantly in a drug haze, romance isn't on the top of your to do list and neither is love, so it speaks volumes that we can see them venture into a romance towards the end.
I loved it, but it gets four stars instead of five due to character death. Even though I knew it was coming, I still hated it. It's more like 4.5, but I try to avoid half star ratings when possible. ****SPOILER****Delilah kicks the bucket. If you've read my reviews for the previous novels (#1 | #2 | #2.5) then you know I'm not Delilah's biggest fan. Actually, I'm not a fan at all, because she is too stupid to know when she should get the hell out of dodge. I have no respect for women who put themselves in this kind of relationship. Don't misread that. Physical and psychological abusive relationships are hard and it is NOT. YOUR. FAULT. BUT....Delilah got out. She was away from Dylan prior to the start of Breaking Nova and she intentionally went back to his violent, abusive ass, so I'm out. You had a choice, you picked the wrong option. I know that opinion comes off harsh, but it is what it is. So, I basically hated her, but I also hate that she ended up dead because I know that's devastating for Nova. And this poor girl has been through enough.****END SPOILER**** So yeah, not entirely satisfied with that.
What I am satisfied with is Nova & Quinton's end. These two finally get the happily ever after they deserve. We know it'll take work and that it won't always been unicorns shitting rainbows, but it's obvious they'll do whatever necessary to make it work. They will blow you away with their devotion to each other. Quinton isn't quite as awesome as Micha, but he's close, really fucking close. This has everything you could possibly want in a sequel, finally bringing Nova and Quinton to a place where they can move on with their lives while still honoring the past. Now, can I have Tristan's story yet?
****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****