Rating: 4 – 4.5 stars
Breathe in, breathe out. Sorry I needed to do that before writing this review and I think you will need to keep that in mind as well when you read this book. I don’t know where to even start. I feel like I went on one long roller coaster ride – the kind of ride where you can see what is coming up ahead so you prepare yourself, but then when you least expect it, there is a sharp turn and you are completely unprepared for it. Yea that is what this book was for me. This book brought out every emotion I had in me and probably some I didn’t even know I had. I laughed, I cried (and I am not a crier), I got pissed off, I blushed, I smiled. If emotion is what you want, this is definitely the book for you.
Jasinda did something very unique with this book and I’m still deciding if it will absolutely brilliant or a disasterous idea, but I’m leaning towards brilliant J. The blurb really gave me no real information, so I’ll give you a cliff note, spoiler free idea of what this book is about. This is a story about Caden and Ever, although I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in my opinion, this is more Caden’s story.
Caden and Ever met when they were fourteen/fifteen years old at an art summer camp. They saw each other maybe a handful of different times but they shared a connection, one I don’t think they understood at the time. Before they left that summer, they decided to become pen pals. Thus started the beginning of a relationship that was strictly on paper. Yes, they actually did become pen pals and it went on for years, but they never once saw each other. They told each other EVERYTHING – from their first kiss, to their first sexual experience, to their fears, to their deepest darkest secrets, to their confusing feelings for one another.
Remember when I said that this book could be looked at as either a brilliant or horrible idea? This is why. It left me confused about my own feelings about this story and the characters. I didn’t know what to think. On one hand, I felt their connection and love for one another (even though they didn’t even know it was love they were feeling). I felt that the feelings they had for one another could not compare to anyone else in their lives.
On the other hand, they were just pen pals. They didn’t live by one another, they never saw one another, they never made promises about their relationship. They were free to do whatever they wanted in their lives. So my internal conflict was whether I let my brain, the rational side of me, take over, or let my heart, the emotional side of me, dictate how I felt. I told you it was a roller coaster. Most of the time the rational side won. As much as I didn’t want Caden or Ever to be with anyone else but each other, it happened and it was necessary.
“If I tried for something with Cade and it didn’t work, or he lied to me, or he let me down, if he failed to measure up, failed to be the magnificent specimen of manhood I’d built him up to be in my mind, I’d be devastated. Wrecked. And then I wouldn’t even have him to get me through my heartbreak.”
The romance part of this story was absolutely beautiful. When they are older, they do finally see each other in person and from there my emotional side completely threw my rational side out the window. It was so romantic and sweet and sexy. It was probably my favorite part of the book.
“You were beautiful when you were fifteen. You’re…Jesus fuck, Ever, you’re a goddess now. Let me worship you.”
I feel like this was my reward. That Jasinda decided that I suffered and cried enough and that now I would get to smile and be happy for these two. And let me just say the scenes with these two were…so extremely hot that I had to put my Kindle down every now and then.
“I was made to love you, to hold you, to kiss you, to fuck you, to make you come and watch you sleep and keep you safe. And I will always, always do all of that.”
I do want to also mention the sadness that plays a huge part of this book. Yes, this book is a romance, but there is more to it. The reason I said that I felt like this was more Caden’s book was because I feel like the events of his life shaped who he was and how his relationship with Ever evolved. This boy went through so much sadness that I have no idea how he was able to survive it. If anyone deserves a happily ever after, it is him. Here are just a few examples of his pain:
“I felt the scars on my heart and in my mind. I’d been cut deep and the wounds would never really heal.”
“Fuck. I’m…I’m alone. Always alone. And I can’t – I can’t take it anymore.”
Yes, Ever has sadness in her life too, but it really is nothing compared to him (not like anyone is keeping score). But Ever is what helped him get through each day, her letters, her words of encouragement, her paintings, her perfume scented letters.
I cannot end this review without mentioning the ending. Yes, there is a cliffhanger, but rest assured, the next book in the series is also available so you can just jump right into it. This cliffhanger took me by surprise, but at the same time, I knew something like this would happen to them. In all honesty though, I was devastated. But, I am hopeful that in the end these two end up getting what they want….each other.
I’ve read quite a few of Jasinda’s books, but this one really brought out the emotions and I absolutely adored it. I LOVE the characters and LOVE the unique way in which the story was told. I highly recommend you read this book if you want a different take on a romance. But be warned, you’ll need tissues.
FOREVER & ALWAYS (Ever #1)
AFTER FOREVER (Ever #2)
SAVING FOREVER (Ever #3)
PRE-ORDER for Kindle
(February 14, 2014)