Published by Atria Books (11.13.2013)
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: eBook, 448 pages
Source: I own it
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Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
Wow. I haven’t read a contemporary that affected me so much since Before I Fall! This story was beautiful, guys. It had me sobbing!
I loved Nastya. LOVED her. She was so awesome! She was witty and hilarious, she was strong, and she didn’t give a f*ck what anyone thought of her. Plus, she was interesting. I wish she were real so we could be friends!
I don’t dress this way because I like it so much or because I want people to stare at me in general. But people are going to stare at me for the wrong reasons anyway, and if they are going to stare at me for the wrong reasons, then at least I should get to pick them. Plus, a little unwelcome staring is a small price to pay for scaring everyone off. […] If I’m going to get unwanted attention, better it be for my ass than for my psychosis and my effed-up hand.
Something I didn’t know going in: Nastya doesn’t speak. At all. It made for a very interesting read, because nearly all of the story consists of her inner dialogue and her mental response to her surroundings. But it wasn’t a bad thing at all because I loved being in her head!
I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
What happened to Nastya was surrounded by such an air of mystery that I was dying to know what happened! And while it took forever to finally find out, it made sense. Because someone who’s been through a traumatic experience like that would not be thinking about it – no, they’d be making every effort they could to avoid thinking about it. What I loved about her was that even though her life was ruined by what happened, she still did something about it and learned how to defend herself so it would never happen again.
I loved all of the characters! They felt very realistic, like they were real-life people. Drew was a womanizing asshat, but I loved him anyway! He was the perfect best friend for Nastya, and I loved how ‘just friends’ was all they were. Many stories would have pushed a love triangle there, but even though they were close physically and everybody thought they had something going on, the relationship was strictly platonic. Boys and girls CAN be just friends! They can!!!
“When you look at her what do you feel? […] Joy, fear, frustration, longing, friendship, anger, need, despair, love, lust?”
“All of it.”
Josh Bennett. Ohhh, Josh Bennett. He was sooo swoony! He was amazing and he was perfect for Nastya. I shipped them so hard!! And the beautiful thing was, it took nearly the entire book for them to admit how they felt about each other. No instalove here, folks! The relationship moved slow and they had plenty of time to get to know each other. They became companions that relied on each other despite their efforts not to.
I have to admit, though, toward the end it pissed me off a little. They were such IDIOTS when it came to each other! I wanted to have a Jessica Biel moment and be all, “JUST TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM, YOU PUSSY.” And it wasn’t really Josh that irked me. It was Nastya. Her behavior was ridiculous! I understand that she didn’t want to let anyone in, but JEEZ. View Spoiler »She says: The world should be full of Josh Bennetts. But it’s not. I had only one. And I threw him away. But why?? WHY?!?! It made NO sense! It happened out of nowhere and didn’t have a logical reason. She just…dropped him. Like a rock. It made me SO ANGRY. Then she went on to complain about how much she missed him…THEN WHY ARE YOU WALKING AWAY?! She acted like such a moron!!! « Hide Spoiler
Katja Millay has a talent of making even mundane things seem interesting. Even when there wasn’t much happening, I was still 100% invested in this story. I couldn’t get enough of it!
AND THE ENDING OMG. *dies* I looove the purpose of the title! EEP! Do I recommend this book? HELL YES I DO. I’m not even a fan of contemporary, nor am I a fan of New Adult (some call this book YA, but it reads like NA). But it blew me away!
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 5/5