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.
Improbable alliances prove that kindness is fundamentally human.
Unlikely heroes emerge.
The question is, Will it all be enough to save him?
An emotional and powerful story that was heartbreaking but it was also about healing, hope, love and the celebration of life.
The voice of depression is ugly and we heard it loud and clear through Toby. The author allows us to experience all the loneliness, indifference to life and lack of self worth. It was raw and unfiltered and it absolutely broke my heart. His past I think shaped the beginning of this disease with a mother who was belittling and threw words of hate and the experience of a horrible tragedy that caused him to wear a coat of guilt, pain and regret.
Toby just seems to be barely getting by, living day to day. Going to school and then working a job as an apartment building maintenance guy. This is how he meets Alice, a new tenant to the building. Alice is like a breath of fresh air he didn’t expect. Her hopefulnesss and positivity to life despite her circumstances begin to infect Toby. Their friendship, growing young love and Alice’s words of encouragement and hope now allow Toby to consider “the possibility of more”. The romance is light in this book but this romance lover was not disappointed in any way.
The beauty of how using simple words to uplift someone can be so life changing really stuck with me. There is a whole world of emotions in this book and I was just so blow away by the way the author spun this tale. There is so much more to Toby’s story thatn what we initially see and he was so much more of a hero than I expected. The beauty and complexity of this story had me turning the pages at rapid speed. At one point I felt my heart crack wide open. I cursed the author for a good five minutes because I could not believe what she was doing. I did get myself together and finished the book and I am happy to report that this book ends on a note of hope.
Overall, an amazing YA book that tackled the topic of depression in a unique, profound way that I highly recommend.
Heat Level: N/A
*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review
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.
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