Sunday, July 13, 2014

Harder (Caroline and West #2) by Robin York (Ruthie Knox)

This is the second (and last) installment in the Caroline and West "series". If you haven't read the first one - SHAME ON YOU! and you shouldn't read this review since it will only confuse you.. So start with "Deeper". After picking it up be sure to have the this one waiting by your side because there is NO WAY you are going to just finish the book feeling content with the way things ended... 

I remember I felt the floor drop under me when I finished the previous one. I was kinda angry I think.. The story itself ended, well, somewhere "in the middle" but the look into this one was a torture to read! knowing everything Caroline and West built in the short amount they were together was smashed to the ground the second he got on the plane home. 

I think the most incredible thing about West is that he is selfless in a way. I mean he does pretty horrible things and treats Caroline like a total stranger (and I'm being mild here..) but all he does now, and all he ever did was what he could so his sister would have a reasonable life. I don't think he believes in happy endings so I guess he just wants to make the best he can for HER. Him? well, he'll survive he always did. 

Even more amazing is how selfless Caroline tries being with HIM. She sees how he suffers, she understands (in a way, though not fully) and she tries being what he need her to be even if most of the time he can't accept her help or even her presence (and he does A LOT to make her leave..)

Caroline and West are struggling in this book, more than they did in the previous one. Caroline wants West, she knows he wants her too but she struggles for him to realize that and to fight for what he wants. West struggles because that's what he does. He struggles to live and support his sister. That's all he ever known. Frankie (West's sister) has been struggling her whole life as well, the only thing stable in her life was West but he left her behind when he went to study and now it's hard for her to trust and confide in him again. Especially as he seems to be angry all the time.

We do get our happy ending in the end. I guess that most of it was quite obvious but this is no thriller or mystery it's a book about life and living it, believing in yourself and moving forward even with the shadows of the past.

Caroline have been a strong character in the previous book, even though she went through hell, even though she was down, she was never truly defeated because this is the person she is - a strong woman who knows who she is and what she wants, who fights for her beliefs and her right to live her life the way she wants. It's obvious with how she is there for West and how she deals with his family's situation, her friendship with his sister and how much she is there for her (even with West's disapproval) but it's also visible in the way she deals with the coming trial of her ex and the fact that she still aims high with her ambitions, she doesn't let her past (or present) lower her expectations from herself and what and who she wants to be. 

Yeah, she is an inspiration. As I wrote in the previous book, I felt that she was "made real", I mean, that the way Robin built her character felt breathing, living person with ups and downs, with difficulties, with a past that almost broke her yet didn't (with the help of West). I think that the fact that Robin made Caroline so "true" to a real live person and also the fact that she is a strong woman makes this story even more important in the sense that this book can encourage each and every one of us to struggle and fight, to believe, to put behind what needs to be put behind and to FIGHT for what we know is ours. Ours is the freedom to be, to choose, to make mistakes and correct them, learn from them, to achieve and/or strive for more, to be happy. 

I've been a fan of Ruthie Knox (AKA Robin York) from the first book I've read by her and since then, I wasn't disappointed with anything I've read (and yeah, I've read everything that she published) so this is no surprise I loved this one the way I did. I really can't wait to read more New Adult as Robin. 

One last thing before I let you go :) I read this book in two days, the first I read about 6.5 hours (!) almost not moving the whole time. I made myself eat (while reading) because it was "time" but I had no appetite with all that was going on.. I actually had a stomach ache from all the drama! and I just couldn't put it down! Then with watery eyes I realized it's (past) time to sleep so I finished it in another gulp the next day.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 352 pages, 2-3 July 2014 / On GoodReads

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