by Cambria Hebert
4.25 Infinity stars
“You’re my why. The why.”
1- The time frame. Almost a third of the book is dedicated to Arrow and Hopper’s pasts. Then, until 80% everything happens in the span of three-four days. The pace pick up in the last 20%, which was my favorite part, but in the middle too many times I felt like nothing was really happening. This story was very focused on their inner struggles, and I like myself some tortured heroes, but would have liked to see something more going on besides talking of feelings and their relationship.
2- Arrow and Hopper’s bond felt a tad too make believe at times. I wouldn’t call it insta-love because they’ve been circling around each other before meeting again in #blur, but there is this connection mentioned between them… it didn’t work 100% with me. Things went too smooth in their relationship, there was only one truly angsty moment. I think I would have liked them get more acquainted with one another; instead things moved so fast and so seamlessly it felt, as I already said, not real enough.Now, to the good part that won’t make me feel like I’m bashing and incredibly good book (because it was).
1- The style, as usual, was flawless. I’m particularly fond of Hebert’s style with its short lines, graphic representation of feelings, and realistic dialogues.
2- The characters’ background. Arrow’s story was heart-breaking, and as I was reading I kept thinking: “it can’t get worse than this.” And then “Woah, that was real shitty.” But it kept going downward until my soul was bleeding for him. Then Hopper’s story came and It. Annihilated. Me.
It reached a point when I didn’t even want him to end up with Arrow because I’d fallen for Matt, too. So yeah, Hopper’s background shattered my already beaten up heart.
3- The last 20% was amazing. I mean, I liked also the part before that, but there’s something so exciting and riveting about seeing Arrow take control of his life and Hopper instead giving in to weakness a bit. Before that, Hopper had been the strong one, the rock. Seeing the roles reversed sealed the deal for me.
4- The little details. Maybe I should have listed this with the style, but I think it deserves a more proper mention. I flove how every character is also detailed through objects, actions, traits that go beyond mere characterization. With Drew it was his French fries, with Arrows his high-tops, the emoji pj, his Bieber looks and his being constantly hungry. Hopper and his hat (and his hair. That hair!!!!). I know that it’s not uncommon to find characters with distinctive traits, but I wanted to point it out because it’s something I really enjoy reading about. We all have our quirks in life: I mean, I love fried fish with cream cheese and make homemade lemon popsicles all year round. Reading about characters that have their own weird little things is reassuring, funny, and helps me connect with them.
In conclusion, it was a damn good book and I recommend it to everyone. It’s one of the meaningful ones that do not just talk about love and unicorns. It tackles important issues with humanity, thoughtfulness and respect, yet without sugarcoating reality. It’s probably the rawest, most emotional book in the series, and although there were a few things that didn’t do it for me (Drew and Trent are still my n. 1 couple), it’s an amazing love story. A story of rebirth, of second chances, of empowerment. Of love.
“His heart filled his eyes. Honestly, it was the most beautiful heart I’d ever seen. What was it about the broken and damaged? The ones that rise from the wreckage to walk or sometimes even stumble away? Being a survivor made every moment, every kind word a little more meaningful, because they were the ones who knew what almost never was.“