4 out of 5 STARS
Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
ARC provided by Netgalley
First I have to say I am not a fan of the cover. BUT, I'm so glad I looked past that and gave this a try. A few friends on Goodreads with similar tastes raved about this so I had to give it a try. I am SO GLAD I did! This was a beautiful story with heartbreak in more ways than one, great character strength and a strong sense of family connection/responsibility.
We meet Layken as she is pulling into their new home in Michigan having just moved from Texas. Her father died just a few months before and times are hard for her mom so the move takes place. Within minutes of arriving, her little brother Kel finds a friend in the form of Caulder. Soon we see that Caulder has a good looking older brother by the name of Will.
I can't say too much for fear of giving anything away. Sparks fly immediately between Layken and Will but soon they are put to the test as a very unfortunate circumstance takes place.
This was a really beautifully written story with many emotions coming into play. A heartbreaking situation takes this to a whole new level as the characters have to find their strength and balance in the world.
I totally recommend this. I have never read anything with slam poetry before and this was amazing! Such passion comes right off the page. I also have to admit, this book had me in tears.