Published by Bookish Group Press
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Genres: Light Contemporary
Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.
Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused.
Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother's disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.
Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn't involve Cassie Harlen.
When Cassie's mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn't know how he's going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.
Neither does Cassie.
This was Danielle Ellison’s first journey into New Adult and she did a phenomenal job!
Meet Cassie and Graham, aka the main character and the boy next door. Yes, they were in love and in a relationship. But unlike the normal cliche, this “next door” relationship didn’t work out. It actually ended up with Cassie ditching her whole life to go to college in Indiana! I bet you weren’t expecting that- were you? 😉 I certainly wasn’t!
Something else that was unique was that we, the readers, got to see what happened to Graham even after Cassie left. And unlike most people with broken hearts, he didn’t disassociate himself from her family. He actually ended up talking to Cassie’s mother almost every day. I was very happy that the whole novel switched between Cassie and Graham’s POVs because I was able to see both sides of the situation. I did not feel swayed to believe one side over the other- they were both believable.
We also watched the new relationships that formed after Cassie and Graham broke up. It was interesting that neither of them were happy, even though they both pretended to be okay. While I don’t love the concept of a rebound relationship, it happens and Danielle depicted it in a very realistic manner. Not all love is going to be pure and perfect. It’s a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless.
I also loved that the reader didn’t get to learn the true reason why Cassie broke up with Graham until the very end of the novel. It kept me in suspense, and when I found out, it really resonated with me. It certainly was not what I was expecting, and it actually allowed me to re-evaluate Cassie. When the truth finally came out, it appeared as though almost all of the characters reflected back upon their decisions and realized that they had made mistakes. That type of character development made the beta reader (and regular reader) in me very, very happy!
I really enjoyed this book and give it 4.5/5 stars.
Also, I’m not sure if you know, but Danielle is actually one of June’s Sunday Street Team featured authors! (For more information on the Sunday Street Team click HERE). She has been generous to donate ONE ebook of an author who blurbed her book to ONE lucky winner! The authors are: Rachel Harris, Chanel Cleeton, and Riley Edgewood.