Book Summary (Goodreads):
Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.
A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.
The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.
Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.
“A lovely, haunting, captivating tale from the first page to the last. It grips your heart and keeps it until the very end.” – Natalie Decker
This book was incredible. It’s the story of loss, pain, darkness, love, and personal discovery. Emmy is a popular teen that enjoys parties and her boyfriend Zane. Emmy is close to her brother and their close group of friends. This group of friends is practically inseparable. One night after a party her brother Derek dies in a car accident. Emmy struggles through the loss and eventually ends up taking painkillers. A year later Emmy has broken up with Zane, drifted from many of her friends, rarely talks with her parents, and still struggles with taking pills since by taking them she sees her brother and strives to keep him alive as much as she can. Throughout the book we see Emmy fall deeper and deeper into that darkness. She meets Logan, and Logan is wonderful. Logan sees through the mask Emmy wears and tries to get through to her. Logan does everything he can to help her and have her open up to him. There story is pure and real. But is it enough to really save her?
I really enjoyed Logan’s character. He too has his own secrets, though dark that they may be, he has conquered his past demons and has the ability to relate to Emmy and tries to persuade her to be better. But the truth is that Logan doesn’t really understand what taking the pills does for Emmy, and she cannot let go of her brother, it’s too painful for her. I loved Logan because he didn’t run “hot” and “cold” like a lot of love interests in love stories. At times he does seem distant, and he does go through periods of not really talking to her, but I don’t feel like he’s the traditional “hot” and “cold” guy. And when he explains his reasoning’s why it makes complete and total sense. There’s so much more going on with Logan than meets the eye, and it’s neat to see a character that he too has once fallen, but now strives to be a better person. At first when he realizes what’s going on with Emmy, I was surprised with his mood towards her. He get’s really angry with her and basically tells her to choose between him or the pills. I was angry with him for placing that demand on her, and I was ready to be angry with Emmy if she decided to choose him because he gave her an ultimatum. But in the end it all works out for the best, and even with Logan’s ultimatum, he’s hard not to love.
Zane was a complete douche from the beginning and I’m so happy that this book wasn’t your typical love triangle story. Sure we have Zane pining over Emmy and wanting the girl she used to be, but Emmy wants nothing to do with Zane thank goodness! I think though he was great to have in the story because deep down I think Zane partially blames himself and I think Emmy had to learn to forgive him and forgive herself too.
I loved being able to get to know her brother Derek even though it was just a hallucination of Derek. Derek is adorable and sweet, and gives a little comic relief to Emmy’s life. You can see how close Emmy and Derek are and how much Derek, even though its Emmy’s vision of him, loved Emmy and was there for her constantly.
I loved Emmy. She struggles throughout most of the book, but we really get to see how hurt she is and how much she aches for her brother. The author does a fabulous job telling Emmy’s story. My heart broke for Emmy on more than one occasion, and when Emmy finally breaks through the darkness it was hard not to let the tears fall.
What I didn’t like about the book:
Honestly there wasn’t anything I disliked about the book. This is a genre I don’t normally read but that I surprisingly enjoyed.
What I liked about the book:
I loved the message behind the book. There’s a point in the story where Logan tells Emmy that she has to choose between him or taking the pills. I’m so happy she doesn’t choose him. Because in real life when given choices like that we aren’t doing it for ourselves and that’s the real problem. Emmy has to make the better choice for her and her alone. And I love that in the end she does what she feels is best for her to help her let go of her brother and to get the help she needs. And she does it for herself, which is so powerful.
This book was wonderful! I typically read stories that aren’t really based on real life events. But surprisingly when I read this one I enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful love story, not just for Emmy and Logan, but also for Emmy to love herself and to help herself. What power this story gives! I think a lot of troubled youth could really benefit from reading a story like this! I really look forward to reading future books written by Amanda Burckhard!
Young adults, and individuals looking for a good romance and a story that deals with real life situations.
Book quote 1:
He cleared his throat. “So, what were you doing lying int he middle of your lawn?”
Fell out of the tree.” Oh, God. Did I just say that? Why didn’t I lie?
He smirked as if he thought I was joking. “You fell out of your tree? Why were you in a tree?”
“I was… uh… trying to rescue a cat?” Oh sure, now I lied.
“that sounds like a question.”
I swallowed hard, my mouth full of sandy regret. “Did it?”
“So where’s the cat?”
It ran off. Then I fell.” What the hell was my problem? I was a genius liar. The best. All I could manage was crappy lies and word vomit whenever Logan was around. It was like his presence turned off any filter any voice that said “think before you speak.”
Book quote 2:
Tears of frustration carved valleys into my cheeks from my eyelashes to my chin. What was I going to do without Derek? He wasn’t even gone more than a few hours and I already blew up at Dad. He couldn’t leave me. He said he’d always be here. He promised.
“Emmy?” a voice said behind me.
My heart soared for the split second it took me to turn and find that it wasn’t who I’d been waiting for. It was Logan. My heart stopped its fight, turned to glass, and plummeted down a flight of stairs. Seeing Logan at that moment, when I felt nothing but vulnerable and alone, made everything so much worse. My tears turned into sobs.
About the Author:
Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.
Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she’s been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.
She currently lives in South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.
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