When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero
What I Liked
I’ve got to say, I am a huge fan of the paranormal, the supernatural, basically anything that doesn’t actually exist (or does it?) But this novel was totally real. It had a down-to-earth feel and the characters, for once, weren’t larger than life. Travis is struggling to cope with his best friends death, and his post-traumatic stress is painful to watch. It’s so obvious to the reader, but no one else can see what he’s going through because they’re all so caught up in their own worlds, they can’t see that he is a different person to the kid he was before he deployed to Afghanistan, they can’t see that his best friend’s death has completely destroyed him, they can’t see that every little tiny miniscule detail is noted and that even the quiet bang of a door closing is enough to remind him of the painful experiences of Afghanistan. Harper is exactly what Travis needs – and I will admit I got a little teary-eyed watching there relationship play out. She’s the only one who is going through stuff of her own, but can see he needs help and reaches out despite the horrible behavior of his past.
What I Didn’t Like
The fact that Travis kept going back to his ex-girlfriend – the one who is now dating his brother – despite the amazing chemistry with Harper and the power this then gives to both her and his dickhead of a dad – power that they can lord over him, bend his will to suit their own desires. That just made me so mad, like hello? Can you not see that you’re meant to be with Harper? That your ex is a total cow? That you’ll hurt everyone around you if you continue to go back to her? UGH.