by Brayden Maggart
Genres: Contemporary, Mature, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: October 10, 2015 by Polished Expressions INC
Seventeen-year-old Analia struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from a long childhood of abuse and trying to cope with her brother, Cloud's, suicide while still continuing to manage life with a neglectful, addicted mother.
Without guidance, Analia and her brother, August, experience the hardships of adolescence and the joys of first love as they learn life's hardest lessons. Together, they figure out how it's possible that the world is both beautiful and ugly at the same time as the two come to form a unit we know as life.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m going to be very honest. What caught my attention was the cover! I’m guilty. When I read the blurb, I knew I needed this book in my life. It reminded me of FALL OUT GIRL by L. Duarte but the stories are so different! Guys, you cannot judge a book by it’s author. Do not get me wrong here! By this I mean that the author is young! I did not know that when I requested this book. Later on I found out and I was very, very skeptical but I was so surprised by how amazing of an author Brayden is. Her depth in the story, her words… It’s like she left her soul in the pages of the book. I was and still am in awe of this debut author.
This story is told in various points of views but not many that the reader gets confused. Without needing to read the name of the character, the reader knows whose point of view it is. The characters in this story have depth—a depth that goes on and on and on—and it’s hard to find characters like these. Analia has gone through a lot in her life. She has had to take care of her two younger brothers while her mom drinks herself into oblivion. For a fifteen-year-old, this is a lot to take in especially when her youngest brother calls her mom. I give props to Analia for not complaining of all the things she has had to do to keep her family afloat. Her family went through a traumatic experience and it still affects each and every one of them but it affects Analia a lot more. Now, there’s one thing I didn’t like about her and it’s that she fell in love way too fast. It was around 50% that this happened but she had only seen the guy only a few times and this is the reason I gave the story 4.5 stars. You guys know I do not like this trope but I kept reading and I’m so freaking glad I did. The ending of this story was without a doubt breathtaking. Ana gives a speech in her class that left me in tears and I just couldn’t believe how Brayden had worded those last few pages of the book to be so magical.
“Things get better; just make sure you’re still around when it happens.”
The other character who stood out to me the most was August, one of Analia’s brothers. He is a very complex character, trying to figure out who he is in life. The reader gets to experience his struggles and how he is trying his hardest to become a better person. I saw a lot of character development in August and I applaud him for changing his ways and wanting to be better for his family and for himself.
The writing in this story is beyond anything magical. I’m not lying. I got so submerged in the story. The writing pulled me in and I couldn’t let go. Once again I say this young author did a tremendous job with this story.
Overall: It’s a very short story but with a powerful message that’s eye-opening to everyone out there, teens and adults alike.
(It was hard picking a few since I have so many from the soeech Analia gave at the end.)
The pain you inflicted on yourself was okay because at least that way you expected it and you weren’t blindsided by somebody you loved.
I could honestly that life was hideous, disgusting, unfair and cruel… But I could also honestly say it was the most beautiful, rewarding, blissful experience in the world.
“Words can make your heart flutter. […] Words are scary and not to be messed with… Words are everything.”
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