This is my first Kim Holden ARC. I've read the blurb and immediately assumed the story was more or less the same to Bright Side... but it's not.
I was putting it off because I felt like I was not emotionally ready for something this heavy. I ugly-cried when I read Bright Side, and as sure as the sun rose in the east, this one made me cry as well.
To be honest, it was a very slow start for me. There were times when I thought about not finishing at all because at that time I didn't feel any connection to the characters and what went on in story. Don't get me wrong, it was all intelligently written but it took me a while to warm up to the characters. It wasn't until I got to about 40% that I started to really relate. And I did relate. The despair, the perpetual sadness, the longing, resentment... everything.
I even questioned myself whether it was a good idea to go on reading when I myself am having the same thoughts—just thoughts.
I don't have any exact plans like Toby did but I understood him. Sometimes people don't understand why you are the way you are even when you try to explain it as clearly and as simply as you could. This is why I read more and why I write and indulge myself in desserts and making silly videos because it helps me keep my mind off of things.
This is definitely not an easy read. It touches on sensitive topics such as mental illness like suicide and ptsd. There's also verbal and physical abuse, rape etc.
This book made me realize that I'm not alone in feeling what I'm feeling. That it only takes a strand of hope to hold on. That I just have to open my eyes and look around that there is still so much to be thankful for in this life... that I don't have to have all the answers all at once.
It's an angsty and emotional read and in Kim Holden fashion, you should keep your tissues within reach.