Author: Kate Avelynn
My Rating: 10 out of 10
*** Trigger warning: this book does not deal with light issues. It's a dark novel that is absolutely heartbreaking and deals with issues far beyond most peoples understanding. In my opinion, Kate Avelynn does every issue discussed justice. ***
Summary (Thanks GR): Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.
Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.
Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact . .
My Thoughts: This is not a book that should be taken lightly, and Kate Avelynn makes sure that it's damn near impossible to. I dove into this expecting some different topics than my usual bluster of cute romantic love stories. I expected some incest, I expected the abuse, I was not expecting to fall in love with this novel. This is by no means a light read. It's heavy, and heart-wrenching, and made me want to toss the book across the room, hug Sarah, kick her father's ass, and punch James in the face. It made me fall in love with Sam for the same reasons that Sarah had. But don't let a cute boy be the reason you dive into this novel. It presents so many things, so many huge topics that I have personally never dealt with before, and after reading it, it's clear that Kate Avelynn is a powerful writer. This book took hold of my heart and squeezed, and I literally had to walk away a few times to collect myself. This book is powerful, gritty, and most importantly it's real. It shows the reader a real struggle, and real pain and the real power of love. It is by no means a story of hope. It is raw, it's emotional, it was an spectacular read. It's one of those books that will consume my every thought for a long time, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get it off my mind. Flawed was without a flaw, and if it's something you can handle on an emotional level, do not let it pass you by. I just finished it, maybe three minutes ago, and I'm not sure I'm going to go on with my life. Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little bit, but this story is just that powerful.
Final Thoughts: I can only hope to be this effective of a writer.