Published by Simon Pulse on January 12th 2016
Genres: young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary
From the author of Bleed Like Me, which Booklist called edgy, dark, and turbulent with passion comes another compelling and gritty novel about addiction and forbidden romance, starring a fearless, unforgettable heroine.
Natalie's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like getting in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.
Unfortunately, her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.
But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat's life, and things start looking up. Joe is funny, he's smart, and he calls her out in a way no one ever has.
He's also older. A lot older.
Nat's connection to Joe is overwhelming, but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.
Now, in order to make a different kind of life, Nat must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I felt really horrible about this, but I started off this book on a very bad note. I just was not impressed with the main character, Natalie. She was rude, horrible, and at one point of time, she actually said this:
“Driving was stupid. I get that. But I wasn’t plastered. I’ve been way drunker, and frankly, the whole things would’ve been fine if I hadn’t hit the wet road. And if I hadn’t been distracted by the shit show of my life. The “legally drunk” thing is sort of bullshit. You hit your legal drunk limit after one drink. I’ve seen people have way more than that and be perfectly fine driving home. It’s all a scam between insurance companies and the government to squeeze more money out of the working class. I’m not saying people should drive loaded, but seriously, three drinks is hardly shit-faced, despite what a Breathalyzer might say.”
And I have a problem with that whole paragraph. I hated it. The moment I read it, I was like Hell no, this character did not just take drink -driving lightly. This part might have hit me a little too hard, because I recently had a friend who died in an accident, because the other car’s driver was driving while under the influence of alcohol. I think that no matter how much you drink, as long as you are even 20 percent drunk, you should never drive. Better stay safe, aye?
But anyway, yes, I did not start this book very well. I already had this huge resentment for Natalie, and I rolled my eyes at her very very rebellious nature. But after awhile, her character kinda grew on me. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t really like her that much. She’s rude, and at times, horribly pathetic. BUT the story line made me want to keep on reading. I wanted so badly to know if Natalie would be better, and I wasn’t disappointed. The character development in this book was touching. The author pulled in family and friends together to make Natalie’s character change for the better.
Safe to say, at the end of the book, I was crying buckets. This was one of the most difficult book I’ve ever read. Dark and gritty, reading it in Natalie’s voice made me question my own self. It’s like, even though I didn’t really like her, I could relate to her, to whatever it was that she was going through. And I loooove the romance. It was all kinds of wrong, but at the same time, it felt right. And the author managed to capture the true meaning of someone in love, whether the person is the one or not, which is exactly what was portrayed in this book. All in all, I was pretty much impressed by the time I reached the last page.