Publication Date: August 25, 2015
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
“No one understood. No one saw what I did. No one lived through what I had. I would have talked to them. But there was no one to understand. Keeping quiet is how I survived.”
I have only read Abbi Glines Existence series, and absolutely loved it. I've been wanting to read her other books for awhile, but sadly never have gotten around to it. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I jumped at the chance. And let me say, I was blown away. I remembered exactly why I fell in love with Abbi's writing to begin with. I was instantly transported to the South, where football reigns supreme and field parties are the place to be. The entire story was simply breathtaking and beautiful. From the characters to the story itself, every scene was perfectly described and tears at your heart strings.
"She'd come into my life when I thought I was going to lose myself. When I wasn't sure I had the strength to make it. And she'd shown me I could."
West and Maggie were both wonderful characters. I loved that we were able to read the story from both their POVs as this book would never have been as good with just 1 perspective. Having both West's and Maggie's POV, we get inside their minds and are better able to relate to each of them. They both have endured or survived things that no known should need to go through, and together they help each other heal and grow. You could truly feel the connection between them, and while some scenes were definitely a little steamy (it's Abbi Glines, so the scenes are bound to be a bit racy haha), they were gorgeously written. Both Maggie and West's personality shone through in each scene, and make you fall in love with them even more. Even the supporting characters were fantastic, and I can't wait to see where their story goes in future books.
"I take it back. This...was the best I ever had."
Happy reading :)