This book is heart breakingly beautiful. I loved it so much! I read it in about a day. It's not an easy story, and it takes time until you get the whole deal. You get bits and pieces along the way and after a while you get why Holder is being the way he is, "what's his deal" sorta thing - he's going to crush your heart..
Sky has been sheltered all her life by Karen her step mother, she is a very understanding and loving mother but her beliefs are, well, not very typical. She doesn't believe in technology therefore - no computer, no TV, no mobile phone and she is also a vegan who eats only healthy food (lucky that on THAT aspect Sky can buy tasty staff to stash away :)) She also doesn't believe in the public school concept therefore she home schooled Sky. But on her senior year (what was suppose to be her senior year) Sky decided she wants to try and be "normal" and do her last year in high school.
You do remember I cringe at the sound and letters of this word, right? high school...
Usually it means the plot might be OK but the main and side characters are going to annoy me to death, I'll hate their immaturity, I'll hate how they speak, I'll hate what they deal with etc... But here, the school was so NOT the issue, and I'm not talking about the surrounding of the school I'm talking about Sky, her two best friends - Six and Breckin and also Dean Holder - who is a different case entirely!
Both the relationship with Breckin and Six just help the story flow, I loved both their characters and can't wait to read about Six in the novella "Finding Cinderella".
Sky meets Holder at the grocery store and later on she stumbles into him in a totally random run but not in a totally random place. Which means that even if she would have never went to her last year in high school their meeting was inevitable. Holder sees it that way, but Sky, being her, doesn't see it that way she is just EXTREMELY attracted to him, something that NEVER happened to her before.
Their relationship is complex, mostly because Sky doesn't get Holder and why he behaves one day like one person and then a day after like two different persons. She lost track of all the "possible Holders" out there.. About half of the book she just consider him "intense" but later on, she realizes there's MUCH more to it then that and when she hears what he withheld from her - all her world comes crushing down.
Throughout the book we have Sky's POV. She is SO NOT the typical teenager. She has a unique voice, a way to see the world and deal with it. I don't want to write about the plot, since every drop might be a clue I don't want to give away. There is something quite obvious (almost right from the start) about her, but that's only about a third of the story so don't think that once you figured THAT one out there will be no surprises.. Even though she was sheltered all her life she isn't awkward or strange. She is just Sky and she is the one responsible for been the special, stubborn, courageous girl that she is.
I loved both Holder and Sky, but especially Holder. There is something so tragic about him, about who he is, how he is. I don't like the mean, self centered main characters, I do appreciate the "bad guy" but not if he is mean to the main heroine because "that's who he is" until he realizes he can't live with her and then, you know, Happily Ever After.. Holder is surely intense, and he is hard to understand, and he could be violent but all of that have a REALLY good explanation that when you get, your heart breaks for him but mostly your heart breaks for Sky. I don't want to elaborate on this matter so I won't give anything away. But just consider that nothing IS random in this story and what she is about to find out.. There are no words..
A wonderful book with a beautiful story, lovable characters, each with their flaws. I consider this to be a New Adult because of what they are dealing with and how and their maturity. I also thing that this book is MUCH better in every aspect then the Slammed series. Yeah, I liked the first book - Slammed - but for me this one was just SO MUCH MORE. In everything. The concept of Slammed was also heart breakingly beautiful, but it was brought to us in a way that I felt wasn't mature enough to deal with the subject at hand. Maybe Will was mature enough but Layken was the annoying immature teenager that can't deal with life and it's "offerings".. which made the story what it was - premature. BUT it's also Colleen's first book(s), reading this one, I feel she came a long way, in building up the story with all the little clues, with how both characters changed and grew from what happened to them. I loved reading them DEAL with life, with the terrible things life threw at them and yet they are standing.
Can't wait for the next one - Losing Hope - which is Holder's POV of the story but also as I understand it has more background then just a repeat of this one. In my eyes the story concluded beautifully. We don't "need" Holder's book, but boy do we want it!
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 488 pages, 7-8 February 2014 / On GoodReads