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This book had a lot of the hallmarks of the new adult category. Two people with troubled pasts trying to overcome and find love. However, it went beyond that. There were some deep, powerful emotions running through this story.
The first 60% of the book is just like any other new adult. We get to see these two college students who found their way back to each other after four years and a lot of heartbreak. Both have done things in grief they are ashamed of, and both have a lot of grieving left to do. The romance was sweet and sexy. *This is where I post the obligatory mature audiences only recommendation. This subject matter, outside of the sex, is really intense and emotional. Don't say I didn't warn you!*
We get to see a lot of the back and forth of the characters in the present and past. The author does an AMAZING job of weaving the past and present. Not cheesy at all! About 65% of the way into the book, I was set on a star rating of about 3, maybe 3.5. But then, we get the birth of Finn, along with his short life and death, from each character's POV. I sobbed uncontrollably through the entire thing. The author poured her emotions and heartbreak and experiences into these scenes so much that I stopped remembering the book was a work of fiction. These scenes catapulted this book to a 4, possibly 4.5 rating for me. Those several chapters were raw, real, and worth every tear.
The ending came abruptly. I would have liked a bit more, but the book was set up for its sequel, so I can understand the why of it. But, as with most new adult books, I wanted a longer, more tied together ending. It seems like a lot of books in this category have their couple go through a huge fight and some events happen to bring the book to a resolution. This is probably my only critique. The writing was good, the story had a nice pace, and again the past and present were revealed so well.
One quick note from the acknowledgments and info in the back of the book. The author did state she lost her first baby as well as a twin to one of her daughters, and has been very involved in help for families going through similar experiences. She is an advocate, began pregnancyloss.info, and most recently began Project Butterfly. She also notes in her acknowledgments that she and her husband were considering using the funds from this book for adoption expenses. As a mom, my heart cannot even fathom the amount of pain and grief this would be, so her outlets of helping others make informed decisions, as well as providing a community and comfort was just beautiful. If you are interested in learning more, visit her website.
The bottom line: If you can stand the intense sadness, this book rises to the top of the new adult category.