After much deliberation, I settled with three stars. I mean, the book was good, no doubt about it. I can even understand why people gave it stellar ratings/reviews. I just don’t have the same response, we just don’t click. But I do get Travis. I even liked his story. The whole bad boy, fragile, broken and on its way to healing. I loved those kinds of stories. But there’s something quite missing that I failed to have the same emotional connection as other readers did. And don’t ask me what; I don’t even have a clue (because usually I like books like these. It’s a surprise to me too.)
Travis went home from Afghanistan after a year serving for the Marines. He has three more years to serve. One of his reasons why he enlisted himself was his dad. Travis’ dad was a former football player, and he wanted him to be just like him. But he was sick and tired of him driving his life, imposing what his dad wants and not even considering what Travis really want. So signed up to get away. But only after a year, he returns with more emotional baggage than he has before he left. But he made friends while he was serving, and one of them was Charlie Sweeney. But he died and the memories of that day and what had happened to him hunts him on his sleep, even gives him hallucination. Turns out he’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But that’s not only the thing that weighing him down, there is his family too. His brother is now dating his ex-girlfriend who dumped him while he was away. And that said girlfriend is still showing interest on him even though she’s dating his brother. While his mother and father was having issue over their marriage. He’s in dire need of something that will make him feel normal amidst his problems. Maybe Harper Gray? The girl that he really wants but he messed up the chance. He did something to her that ruined her reputation. Will she forgive him?
I wasn’t completely convinced with their relationship. I liked Harper. I liked their relationship. After that horrible stint with Paige, I think he does deserve someone like her. One who he truly needs. I can see why they were good for each other. I’m just not the biggest fan of how they went from point A to point B. The transition wasn’t very clear to me. One day she punched him in the face then next day she was helping him buying meat. But that said, overall, I liked their relationship. It was realistic. It wasn’t only their love that becomes his salvation. Travis has more issues and should be dealt in a more realistic fashion. And I’m glad the book headed that way.
If you’re like me who was expecting a very romantic cover based on the cover, I have to give you friendly advice. The book wasn’t a romance book, or at least not completely a romantic book. There’s Harper and Travis but it is more of Travis story. About his war related experiences. How he’s handling it. And then his family problem. Then himself. It is less of a story of a victim of war but more of a story of a 19-year old guy. Just don’t take the cover literally. I mean I LOVED the cover but oh boy was that deceiving. 😉