“I’m so damaged all I remember about love is how to spell it.”
The title aptly fits this book in more ways than one. I picked this up, author and book blind, and I was almost, perfectly satisfied. This is a gripping and moving story of a powerful connection between two people which remained strong despite a decade apart.
Good points first. This book is highly engaging and while it may seem dark, it is actually a story about hope, second chances and redemption. It doesn’t essentially focus on her captivity but more on how Jade faced life as a survivor. I loved how this book was paced, offering the readers a chance to get a glimpse on what goes on the mind post- trauma; how someone who looks okay and normal from the outside can be cooking a lot of emotions and thoughts on the inside.
“I’d sacrifice this life and every life I have coming for you.”
I admired the realistic way Jade was presented as a character. I appreciated how the author was able to make the smallest and most trivial matters felt like big leaps for the character. How, when she tried to tackle recovery, failed on so many attempts before realizing that she needs time and actual help. The emotions were raw, the pain was real and the struggle was too palpable for words.
“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
What didn’t work for me on the other hand was that I felt like I had very limited access to the 10 years that she was “Sara”. I would have appreciated more flashbacks and detailing of what happened during her captivity. A balance between the past and the present would have worked better for me. I understood the whirlwind of emotions and messy thought processes from Jade; the attachment to her captor, her rage, her sadness, uncertainty and distrust. I get it, truly. I just felt like I needed more look into the past for all of her emotions and thoughts to channel through me more strongly. I understand that the focus is her road to rediscovering herself. I get that. But there were moments when I felt like I needed a clearer picture of her 10 years as captive to have a more intense feel of her pain, struggle and despair.
“You were my first. And you were my last.”
His words echo in the small space. “A man could have a thousand different partners and settle down with an amazing woman, and I’d still hold the bragging rights. Don’t feel sorry for me for that. I’m not.”
And lastly, that ending just didn’t appeal to me unless the author is planning a follow up or a novella after this. It was too open-ended, too vague. I hated that I felt like Jade was stringing Torrin along, like he’s only doing what he does in the meantime while waiting for Jade to make up her mind. I was really captivated by this story that I had such high hopes for how it will end. Those two things made this one go from a 5star to a 4star read for me. Still a good one though. You’ll not regret picking this up.
To recommend or not? I will recommend this book for readers who enjoy an unconventional romance, for those who do not mind the pain and sacrifice and most definitely if you’re looking for a swoon worthy hero.
When a seventeen-year-old girl vanishes,
A community is shaken.
Parents turn desperate.
Friends hold vigils.
And the boy who loves her searches.
When a year goes by,
The community is recovering.
Parents feel hopeless.
Friends feel helpless.
And the boy who loves her continues his search.
When ten years go by,
The community has forgotten.
Parents cling to the past.
Friends move toward the future.
And the boy who loves her . . .
Brings her home.
Jade Childs spent ten years in captivity, but now that she’s back, the real battle for survival begins. The media shadows her. Flashbacks haunt her. Her old life evades her. Her so-called new life rejects her. She spent too many years in the dark to recognize the light. She spent too long repressing her feelings to remember how to express them. She spent a decade abandoning hope and cannot dare letting it back into her life. Jade’s not just defined by what happened to her—she’s collared to it.
When the twenty-seven-year-old woman is found,
A community wants to know the story,
Parents want to forget the story,
Friends want to be a part of the story,
And the man who still loves her faces the greatest challenge yet: letting her go.