One summer can change everything…
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.Click to expand and read the excerpt
“So, I’ll see you tomorrow at noon?”
She nodded so hard, her teeth probably rattled. “I’d like that.”
It wasn’t like we were arranging a date, so why did her enthusiasm make me straighten up and puff out my chest? “We can meet at the beach next to the pier. My friends and I’ll be surfing. You bring the preserves, and I’ll bring the stove.”
Uncertainty flickered across her face, and her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water.
I should have used her reluctance to back out, but instead I reassured her. “We won’t be hard to find. We’re just north of the pier, and this way we can meet on neutral territory.”
Her expression turned blank.
“You know…in case I’m secretly a serial killer. There’s always safety in numbers.”
Her lips twitched upward, and she laughed. The sound tinkled through the air like wind chimes on a breezy day. “I already know you’re not a bad person.”
She nodded. Her unwavering stare made me want to squirm in my shoes. “True evil can never be hidden. It’s always there, if you know where to look. When I look at you, I see only good things.”
I snatched my gaze away from hers and tugged at the collar of my shirt. I wanted to know how she could talk with such authority on the subject. I wanted to know what evil she’d seen, but I wanted even more to escape the narrow store aisle. Warning bells pealed in my brain. She’s crazy. Don’t get involved.
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GUYS. I’m impressed, ridiculously impressed.
I apologize if my thoughts get a little jumbled, I just had a long hard day at work, so my brain feels broken right now. But I have a glass of chocolate milk next to me so all is well (well enough, anyways.)
Ok, so where do I start…
It starts with Daniel observing a quirky girl (while on the job at his father’s sporting goods store.) He even slides in and teaches Clover how to putt.
Ok, so that might have been a bit cheesy, like the arm over the shoulder at the movies kind of thing…but I liked their somewhat awkward meeting and it felt realistic. He moves to watch her leave….and sees her do something most people wouldn’t.
It warmed my heart and I liked my first impression of both of them. From there, the whole thing spirals.
Mother nature, and natural mothers alike do all they can to push and pull them apart.
But what is truly extraordinary about this book, is the emotion embedded into it. Very quickly, you learn that Clover is more than just quirky.
I can’t go too deep into the similarities between Clover and I, more for the plots sake than my own.
But I’ve experienced true terror, and Clover made me experience it for her. It didn’t give me flashbacks or anything like that, (well, maybe emotional ones..) it’s just that…. I was Clover not too long ago.
I knew how to paint on a pretty face.
I knew what she was feeling, I knew what she was thinking. And it hurt so deep, and so true. I knew the thoughts that ran through her head.
What it’s like to be rescued and what’s it’s like to fear being comfortable. What it’s like to never trust or rely on anyone other than yourself. I know what it’s like to think you have nothing left but yourself.
What if you end up liking this? What if you forget how quickly everything changed? Once you shut-off that thing, that surviving thing inside…can you get it back? The moment you figure out how to turn it off, and relax you fear you’ll fall asleep and wake up to find all of it will be gone.
And having to recover from that (having hope) would be worse than never having that comfortable moment.
To be honest, I still occasionally struggle with it. I have my bad days.
And Clover still has hers.
Guys, I just felt so moved by Clover. I’ve seen books deal with PTSD, and express it. Some of them have made me cry…but none came near as close as Clover.
I often found that books with PTSD don’t really address all of it. Sure, they can be deep…but I felt like they skimmed the surface of this monumental affliction. The Secret to Letting Go, covered darn near everything. The variables covered where wonderful.
Recovering is more than a one way street.
I’ll admit, there were a few things I disagreed with as far as the principle of bravery and healing goes…I feel like there’s more to say about the victim/rescuer situation. Perhaps her ‘recovery’ at the end seemed quick after the whole novel was spent emphasizing the severity. I felt like it yo-yoed a bit too much at the end.
But none of that detracted from the intense emotional experience that saturated the rest of the pages.
And for that, I’m giving it 5 stars. I will warn you though, it is a dark novel. But, those are my favorite ones. (oh, okay, fine, I like fluff pieces too…) You know it made me cry FOUR TIMES.
I’ve NEVER CRIED SO MUCH FOR A BOOK.
(also, if anyone has a physical arc, hit me up, I’ll trade you one of my arcs/books for it. For reals.)
I’m so impressed that this is Katherine’s debut. She has huge potential.
Have you guys read any great YA’s that deal with PTSD? Was it great or did it fall short in the depth department? Tell me about it! I want to hear.
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