Overall: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Steam: 💋 kiss only
~QD STORY DETAILS~
Tear jerker: Yes 😭😭😭😭 4/5
Location: Denver, Colorado
Character age range: late teens
Lead: Toby Page
Love interest(s): Alice
~QD BOOK INFO~
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Series: Stand alone
Sex/kink type: Kissing only
Possible triggers: abandonment by a parent, suicide, abuse, discrimination, alcoholism, mention of drug abuse, mental illness, self-loathing, guilt
The Quick and Dirty: Unputdownable. The book takes you on a journey through tragedy, guilt, self-loathing and mental illness. One that will leave you with a mountain of tissues from ugly crying. There is redemption in the end fortunately, one that involves a love interest, but it also involves the protagonist putting in the work, which I loved. Total book hangover material. Be warned. It’s THAT good.
Toby feels guilt. Lots of it. Along with self-hatred and a slew of other emotions that have him counting down the days to what he feels is an inevitable and deserving end. Things change when he meets Alice, who opens his eyes to new possibilities and feelings. People assume a lot about Toby since he puts up an asshole facade, but Alice sees through all of it and together with a support network he didn’t know he had, Toby gets a second chance to save himself.
Kim Holden is my go-to author when I need a story with some depth and emotion. Her characters are always compelling and multi-dimensional, with narratives that shatter your heart into a bajillion pieces, then painstakingly sew them back together, but leave their mark too. You’ll be thinking about this book long after you’re done reading. Can’t wait for the next masterpiece!
Side note: If you need more Kim Holden after you’re done with this book, check out the Bright Side series!
** I was generously provided an ARC in return for a voluntary and honest review. *
There are two sides to every story.
The surface reality that’s presented to the world…
And then there’s the other side.
The real one.
The one that matters.
Seventeen-year-old, self-proclaimed asshole, Toby Page, is alone.
He trades maintenance work in exchange for room and board.
Every day he fights demons no one else can see.
Every day he wants to give up.
But he can’t.
When Alice Eliot moves in downstairs, she offers Toby some light in his dark world.
At a crossroads and barely hanging on, it’s hard to have perspective.
It’s difficult to see your own worth when you’re the villain in your story.
Luckily for Toby, Alice brings things out in him that no one else ever has.
As the two sides of Toby’s story are revealed, and the full reality comes into view, truth is gained, unlikely heroes emerge, and improbable alliances prove that kindness is fundamentally human.
The question is, Will it all be enough to save him?
Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I’m fairly certain it’s an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE Sunset Sons, the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Balance and Composure, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this … follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should’ve been writing. But I didn’t. I don’t do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there’s nothing in the world like achieving something you’ve dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from other readers. Send me a message or find me on Facebook (https://facebook.com/kimholdenauthor) and tell me what’s up in your reading world.