Except it isn't.
Because there's this guy named Louis (Lou for short) who is as kind as he is beautiful. Somehow, he looks beyond her walls and reaches in... and has other plans of just letting her be.
Here's the problem: Val doesn't do relationships, and she isn't planning on getting into one anytime soon, regardless of how tempting it may seem. At the end of the day, getting involved with Lou in any way can't be worth it... Right?
*NOTE: This 74,000+ word standalone novel deals with a sensitive subject matter.
In this book the author did a great job at detailing the struggle's of the main character Val, and wrote about her obstacles in a sensitive way that can definitely resonate with readers who have dealt with similar issues. I was rooting for Val's success and survival early on as it's hard to read a story like hers and not want her to become stronger in spite of everything she has had to live through. I love books that detail a characters endeavor to better themselves all while lending the reader some inspiration to overcome anything that they may currently be facing. There is something very powerful in the writing of a fictional character that gives audiences hope and strength in their own personal lives.
I was surprised to see that the love story, although plagued by Val's reluctance to have a love life, was still able to blossom and grow; helping Val become stronger in her pursuance of a "normal" life. Lou was the perfect counterpart for her, and although he had issues of his own he made her a stronger, better person. My only misgiving with their story is that at the end Val stopped seeking independence and leaned more on Lou than she should. It's a beautiful idea that at 18 they would live 'happily ever after' but the rest of the book deals in realism and the end of the book should have as well. I was left feeling that if Lou and Val broke up in the future Val would be back at square one; lost, lonely and drug dependent.
As much as I appreciate a good love story, this book was much more about the real life problems that the characters encountered. The author did not shy away from writing bluntly about heavy subject matters, and was sympathetic in the treatment of the characters. It made for a very dynamic read.
Probability of Rereading:
Thanks for reading!