“I close my eyes, and I breathe her in, and I think about this home that belongs to neither of us, and I listen to the fire crackling, and I feel the warmth of the room and of her body, and we are okay.
We are okay.”
Beautiful, stunning, heartbreaking. This one will grab you and leave you thinking even after you finished the book.
I know I said I wouldn’t do a review until January, but I just have parts of the review in my head already so I decided to just go for it! Warning though, it may be chaotic as this book was a rollercoaster and my feelings and me are still shaken up from the ride.
It is weird, this book is a clear case of didn’t-work-on-ereader > but-loves-it-when-reading-the-physical-form. 😛 I tried this when it came out on my ereader, I just couldn’t get through it. Finally, I found this one (miracle miracle) at one of my libraries, started reading it, and I just couldn’t stop, didn’t want to stop, I wanted to know more and more, I wanted to see Marin be okay again, or at least okay enough that she was able to finally mourn the loss of her grandpa instead of trying to run away from it all.
I loved Marin from the start, yes, I was a bit angry that she would ditch people so easily, yes, I couldn’t understand at first. But then as the story unfolds and we learn more I start to sympathise with her, and with that ending, I could fully understand why she thought running away was the option to go for. At the end, when we learn all the secrets, all the events, all I wanted to do was hug Marin.
She has gone through so much. She found love with someone close, she found out stuff about her granddad, stuff she may not have wanted to find out the way she did. Her granddad died (at least he is presumed dead).
Mabel was such a sweet girl, I instantly liked her. How, even though she didn’t get any messages, how she was pretty much shut off from her friend (should I say girlfriend?), she just went to visit her during the winterbreak. How she tried to be there for Marin, how she tried to talk to her, and how calm and sweet she stayed even when, at least what I felt, wanted to just rage and leave Marin alone. I loved that she never gave up on her (girl)friend. Sure, she was frustrated, but she listened, she talked, she stayed (though at a point she didn’t really have a way to leave :P).
I loved to read about the Mabel and Marin parts from the then, how they grew closer and closer together, how sweet they were, how passionate their romance, and how well they fitted together. It just breaks my heart that it was just not meant to be. Not only because of what happens to Marin’s granddad, but also about the colleges and how it separated them (which makes me thankful I am just living in a tiny country with pretty decent public transport).
The book switches between the now, with Marin and Mabel together in Marin’s dorm during winterbreak where we will finally find out what happened to Marin that she thought her only option was to run away and break contact with her friends and everyone else in the city, and the then, before this winterbreak, slowly going to the point where everything went wrong. From when Marin and Mabel met each other and explored a new love to Marin and her relationship with her granddad and how he his health and sanity slowly deteriorated.
I am not sure how to think of the granddad, I can say that my opinion changed as we learned what secrets he had. I was pretty furious at him, that he did that. That he never told Marin. That he hid all that. 🙁 Then again, I guess it may not be his fault fully, given how his brain was probably not working fine since the death of his wife and his daughter. Death does horrible things to people’s minds. 🙁 Still I wished he had at least talked to Marin, explained things, or at least left something to explain things when things went really bad. That maybe that would have helped Marin.
The ending? Perfection. The author could have gone with a certain ending, but I had the feeling from around the middle that the author would pick another route. A route that I definitely liked with an ending I loved. It was the perfect way for this book to end. I can’t imagine it ending in a different way, or well, I kind of can, but that would require several magical plotholes to appear and would also destroy the characters and how they interacted throughout the book (especially in the now parts).
Phew, I could go on a bit further, but I don’t want to make this too long. I will just say that this book was too beautiful. I enjoyed each and every page. I cried a few times (OK a lot), I was on the edge of my seat, I awwed (during some sweet moments), yep, I loved this book. And I would highly recommend it to everyone.