Tate O’Reilly is starting his European vacation with stops in Iceland, Stonehenge, London, and Paris. To the casual observer, this seems like a dream vacation. For Tate, this vacation is his way of rectifying a horrible mistake that left one student dead and three students severely injured. Setting out to fulfill his student’s bucket list, Tate hopes that this trip will help him learn more about the girl who perished when a science experiment went horribly wrong.
Gabriel Carillo isn’t a stranger to depression. He recognizes the desperation in Tate and makes it his mission to pay a favor forward by reaching out a hand to a person who desperately needs a friend. Injecting himself into Tate’s vacation, Gabriel tries to show Tate that the best way to honor his student is to move forward…except Tate might already be too far gone. Can Gabriel show Tate that the worst bad thing can lead to the best good thing?
This story reaches out and grabs you within the first few pages, forcing you to continue on to figure out just what happened that day in the science lab. Told in Tate’s point of view, readers learn what happened that day and in the year afterwards and why Tate is taking this once in a lifetime vacation through a series of flashbacks. I will warn readers, while the story flows beautifully, it isn’t an easy read by any means as it deals with some very tough issues of depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts.
Tate is tired of living with the guilt of what happened in his science lab. Planning what seems like a dream vacation, he heads off without a camera and minimal luggage. He isn’t looking to purchase souvenirs; instead, he is looking for answers and peace. What he wasn’t expecting was to find someone who would have him questioning whether or not he wants his journey to end.
Gabriel knows all about having the worst bad thing happen and knows that finding your way forward from such an event is a monumental task. Though he knows Tate is depressed, he’s hoping to insinuate himself into his life and prevent him from making a rash decision. With the help of a friend and veteran who is dealing with his own issues in rehab, they try to show Tate that there is something worth living for.
I really loved this story because it reaffirmed my belief that one person can really make a difference in someone’s life. If you are looking for a story that doesn’t candy coat some really serious issues, you want to give this one a try. Highly recommend.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.