DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
August 4th, 2015
Having become a parent for the first time just a short 8 months ago, I understand first hand the challenges that an infant can bring. Also having lost my father to cancer, I understand first hand the devastation that cancer can bring to a family. So when I saw this book for the first time, I figured an author would not be able to capture the true emotions behind each of these events. I was wrong.
Ryden is upset with himself because his girlfriend, Meg, passed away a short while back while delivering their baby, Hope. Being a teenage parent with a promising soccer scholarship to UCLA looming, Ryden has to juggle school, work, soccer, and Hope. Meg had cancer, but due to being pregnant she had to stop her chemotherapy which ultimately led to her death. Ryden simply can't forgive himself for this.
At work, Ryden meets a new employee, Joni, who happens to be different in every way imaginable. But for some reason Ryden is drawn to this. He begins to fall for her but stops things out of guilt. Keeping all of his secrets from her, he decides it best if they remain friends. For now.
Ryden soon discovers a set of notebooks scattered around that are letters to him from Meg. Reading these explains everything and turns Ryden's world completely upside down.
Constantly throughout this novel, Ryden has to choose between his life and Hope's life and he doesn't always make the right choice. What I liked about this novel is that Verdi doesn't sugarcoat anything. This is life and these are facts - deal with them. Well written, fast paced, and keeping the reader on the edge of his seat until the end, this book is a must read. I was a little cautious given the serious nature of the plot and it being a YA novel but I feel like Verdi pulls this off. It is a YA novel written to youth but I believe it makes them think about the consequences of their actions. This was a refreshing book to read and it is highly recommended.
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I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.