I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is September 20, 2016.
When Caroline's little
brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of
Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a
young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder
what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is
not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate
for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of
traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the
kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan
find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each
was such a beautiful book. Four years ago, Ethan was kidnapped.
Caroline's brother, Dylan, was kidnapped several months ago and they are
able to find him and Ethan. Dylan is autistic and can't communicate
about what happened. Meanwhile, Ethan gets so much judgment from the
press and he feels guilty because he thinks he should have been able to
escape at some point. Caroline and Ethan meet because Caroline wants to
try to get some information on what happened to her brother so she can
help him. Instead, they actually become friends. The chapters are split
into Caroline's POV and Ethan's. The chapters also start with exactly
how many days it's been since Ethan and Dylan were rescued so we can see
the progression and the changes they go through.
Ethan was a
very sympathetic character. There was so much guilt with him: guilt for
not trying to escape, guilt for what his captor did, guilt for not
helping Dylan enough. His parents were the most loving and awesome
parents. When Ethan comes back, his mom is crazy overprotective and
doesn't ever want to let him out of her sight. Make sense though, right?
Ethan kind of puts up with it because he doesn't want to hurt her any
more than he thinks he has. My favorite part of Ethan's chapters were
his therapy sessions. His therapist was AMAZING!! The therapist even has
a Golden Retriever that routinely sits at Ethan's feet during his
sessions. How cool is that? Dogs just make everything better. Ethan's
therapist was so patient and calm and he seemed to know exactly what
Ethan needed to hear. Some books just don't do the therapy relationship
enough justice, but this author did it very well.
family life and her parents were a bit of a contrast to Ethan's. First
of all, Caroline's family didn't have much money so they couldn't afford
therapy. Second of all, while Caroline's mom had the best of intentions
and while it was obvious that she loved her kids, her way was to try to
pretend nothing had happened and hope that Dylan just got better. Maybe
that was made easier by the fact that Dylan was nonverbal, so he
couldn't really talk about his experience anyway. But with all of the
attention that Caroline's mom was putting on Dylan, she kind of
neglected Caroline a bit. I kind of hated her dad though. He just worked
all the time and there were hints that maybe he was more disappointed
that Dylan was autistic than anything. That was a bummer. He neglected
both of his kids and basically ignored Dylan, so Caroline and her mom
had to do everything for him themselves. Caroline also carried her own
guilt, just like Ethan. Caroline felt responsible for the fact that
Dylan was taken at all.
I was afraid that the author would go
for a romantic relationship between Caroline and Ethan, but I am SO GLAD
that did not happen. Neither of them needed anything romantic. I loved
how easy and comfortable their friendship was. They just played music
together and got to know each other and it helped. This story of how two
families were affected by this kidnapping and the different ways they
deal with it and how it changes everyone and everything was so
incredibly moving. It's so hard for Caroline and Ethan to try to move
past what happened and try to overcome this huge trauma. But there is so
much character development here and there is a lot of hope at the end
of it. This is a must read!
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one!