***POSSIBLE SPOILERS PRESENT WITHIN REVIEW***
4.5 star rating
Wow! This one practically broke my heart. It was so hard to imagine the pain that this young woman was going through. At fifteen years old Amanda Grace is abducted as she walks to school. Not seen from in two years and presumed to be dead, her family is elated when police find her. Broken and abused beyond belief, it is hard for her to bounce back into society. Not only is it hard for Amanda, but it is as equally hard for her family to be around her. Her mother tries too hard, older sister Liza is hard-nosed and tough to be around, younger sister Mia blames her for coming back and changing their family, and her father is distant and wants nothing to do with her. Slowly as feelings are revealed, it really isn’t as seems with her family. They are just afraid of losing her again both mentally and physically now that they’ve just found her. And, some blame themselves for the horror that has happened to her. During Amanda’s imprisonment, the only thing that keeps her going is the picture on the wall of actor Chase Henry. It’s with his constant voice in her head that she has the will to survive. Unfortunately for Chase, his career has stalled because of bad decisions in his past. He now has the chance to regain that respect and start over if he comes up with a way to jump-start his career. And, his publicist Elise has just the idea. But, it’s not really an honest one. It’s manipulating and selfish as Chase sees it, but he’s willing to take that chance even if it involves abuse victim Amanda Grace. Chase and Amanda meet for the very first time and it’s a bust. Amanda still suffering violently from PTSD, has a total meltdown during their first encounter. Chase is not too sure that he can go through with this publicity stunt. He decides to call it off, but is still talked into it by Elise. It snowballs out of hell, and Chase now is in deep. And, gets deeper when he and Amanda take their relationship to a whole new level through only the five days that they’ve known each other. What will happen when Amanda finds out the truth? Will she ever be able to forgive Chase??
This was a pretty long book. Over four hundred pages. But, it moved rather quickly. I was so praying that Amanda would figure out how to deal with all the heartbreak and trauma that affected her. It was nothing but with sadness that Amanda tries so hard to leave her past behind and try to live without always having to look over her shoulder. Not being to withstand someone touching her along with unidentified noises just seemed to provoke trigger after trigger as they happen. She is so living in the past but wants to find the strength to not be the victim. In reality she was a survivor, she just couldn’t find that balance between victim and survivor on a daily basis. It was so hard to read about. Oftentimes my emotions took over. And, while Chase was the sweetest person ever, he just was lost and needed to be put on the right path with the right someone. So many people had used him in the past for his celebrity status. When it came down to it, he just wanted to be a good person.
The only problem that I had with the book was the fact that they got intimate after only a few days of knowing each other. And, with such severe PTSD that Amanda suffered from, I found that a little hard to believe. The only thing that is viable is the fact that maybe she was just so fed up with being the victim and was ready to stand on her own two feet and be the strong one for once without always needing someone’s protection. That made sense to me after awhile. So, with that being said, I was totally engrossed in Amanda and Chase’s story. It was hopeful and liberating. Showing a most vulnerable side to each character. The relationship was not without sweetness and intimacy. It made sense in a romantic way when experiencing love for the first time. They seemed to lean on each other, which I think was necessary for both their recoveries. Such a promising story with such courage for survival. Looking forward to reading another book by this most talented author!
“Life is too short to hold yourself back. From love, from happiness, from the fear of falling when you could have the joy of jumping.” ~ Amanda (Chap. 29)
Review Written, 6/13/16