Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn't expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.
Crap, I find myself completely overwhelmed trying to write this review.
Jessica Park knocked it out of the... well, park.
I've spent weeks trying to write this review, mostly because I want to just tell you the story and my review would be so full of spoilers, you'd almost not need to read the book. (except you'd still need to because I am no Jessica Park)
Blythe was struggling to live her life. For 4 years, she was only surviving, existing. The death of her parents, the strained relationship with her younger brother, the lack of family support as she moves through her life has caused Blythe to lock herself within.
Chris has become the unofficial head of his family, and feels the heavy responsibility of taking care of his other 3 siblings. When he meets Blythe, he feels the connection to her, in more ways the one. She's a kindred spirit and him and his family adopt Blythe as one of their own. She finally begins to come out of her shell and experience life but there's one missing part. Chris is keeping her at arms length romantically, despite the attraction.
I cried. I laughed. And then I cried some more. But mostly, it was just damn beautiful!