*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
Oh my goodness!!!!! I. Am. In. Love.
I have a soft spot for Lilliana since she was the first author to contact me and my respect for her keeps growing with every book I read from her. This book is by far my favorite book from her.
This story was unbelievable. I don’t even think I can make it any justice with this review but I will try my best.
This story follows Dawn, an outsider in her hometown in Australia who has a best friend, Zeke, who is also an outsider. They bonded over how different they were ti everybody else around them and they can’t wait to get away. This book starts with them witnessing a new neighbor moving into the house next door to Dawn. From that moment on, their lives are never the same again. I grew protective over Dawn as the story progressed. Something that made me respect Lilliana even more was the fact that she had Dawn experience some things that I’ve never seen another character experience before. It was amazing to witness her reactions to them and it made me love her as much as I would a sibling.
All of the character developments were beyond realistic and I was proud for the most part. I say ‘for the most part’ because I didn’t expect the plot line to go the way it did with certain characters. I was taken by surprise and it mostly saddened me because I HATED seeing those things happening to Dawn without being able to help her.
I fell in love with the characters at first glance, except for the newcomer, Shea. I never liked her and I finished the book not liking her. But obviously she didn’t ruin my experience one bit. I grew to respect her part of the story. She was an important factor in shaping the characters I love into who they turned out to be and for that, I don’t regret meeting her.
Now, I HAVE to dedicate a section to the wonderful specimen that is Luke McIntosh (I think I’m spelling that right). He is everything and so much more that I expect of a man, in a book and real life. Notice how I say man instead of boy? Anyway, the Luke scenes were by far my favorites. He was genuine, loyal, caring, and wasn’t afraid to tell Dawn what she needed to hear. He’s exactly the type of person that Dawn was in need for in her chaotic life and I bow down to Lilliana for making it happen. He’s an older character but I didn’t mind that at all, I don’t know why anybody would. He had me smiling like a lunatic with the perfection that spilled out of his lips. My heart will forever yearn for more Luke scenes!!!
I can’t tell you how many times I cried and smiled over these characters. My cheeks hurt for a lot of different reasons but I don’t regret an of it. This is EXACTLY how a romance novel should be written. I reached the end with a triumphant feeling inside my chest and it was world-shattering. This roller coaster ride was rough and scary, but so incredibly rewarding.
Some of the things that happened between the characters scared me… only because it made me realize that it could happen to any of us at any given time and we wouldn’t be able to see it coming. Just like it happened to Dawn.
This book isn’t just an amazing work of fiction, it is a piece of treasure. It makes you think about your own life and question what you know. It teaches you that sometimes you idolize the people closest to you and sometimes they turn out to be no better than the people you have been avoiding your entire life. It teaches you that sometimes love can be found in the most unexpected of places and most importantly, you must grow to love yourself before you can ask for the same in return. That last lesson hit me to the core since it’s something that I have struggled with my entire life. This book voiced a lot of my personal outlooks in life and it impacted me that much more.
I broke and I rejoiced. I laughed and I cried but now my heart is in mourning. My heart hurts so much since I know that this is a standalone. I won’t be able to revisit these characters and I am in denial. I can’t ever accept that…