Eighteen-year-old Lane Graham has always relied on his best friend, Rory, who promised Lane that he would always take care of him. But Rory’s sudden suicide blindsides Lane and sends him into an emotional tailspin. How is he supposed to move forward when it feels as if his world has spun out of control?
Baron MacDonald knew Rory from playing League of Legends together. As the two formed a friendship, Rory kept promising Baron to introduce him to Lane…but now Rory is gone and Baron has to make the introductions himself.
Baron and Lane are as different as night and day – or are they? While Baron comes across as confident and serious, Lane is guarded and uncertain. Thrown together by their grief in their shared friend, they realize that they have much more in common than just Rory and maybe, just maybe, Rory wanted them to meet each other for a reason. Yet, Lane is so angry at Rory for killing himself that he is afraid to continue to trust.
This is a story that will rip your heart out within the first few pages and keep squeezing until there is almost nothing left to get out of it before slowly bringing it back to life. I will warn readers that this is not an easy read because it does deal with some serious issues – depression, suicide, and childhood molestation and rape. The raw emotions in this book gave the story an authentic feel.
Though we don’t actually meet Rory in this story, his memory is very much alive as both Lane and Baron struggle with their own issues of depression and suicidal thoughts. For some reason, Rory’s wish was for Lane and Baron to meet one another – unfortunately it took his death for this to happen.
Lane is the more shy and timid of the characters. He has always seen his best friend, Rory, as being the one to protect him. When Rory commits suicide, Lane thinks he is lost without his friend, but it takes the death of his friend for him to realize that he is stronger than he gives himself credit for. It will break your heart watching Lane come to terms with his anger, hurt, and sadness over his friend’s death and his own realization of how his own issues with depression and suicide affected those around him.
Baron comes across as being self-confident and secure when in fact he is just the opposite. Despite growing up in a well to do family, Baron is dealing with the horrors of what happened to him as a young teen and just wants the pain to stop. Yet, with Lane by his side, Baron may be able to find the part of him that he lost.
As the two learn to navigate life without Rory, they begin to fall for one another. Unfortunately, no sooner are they learning to trust one another when they are torn apart right when they need each other the most. I will admit, I was on pins and needles throughout this part of the story because I just didn’t know what was going to happen with each of these characters as they attempt to return to “normal” in the aftermath of Rory’s death and their own split from one another.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of S.C. Wynne’s young adult stories – this is the one to read! I highly recommend!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.