Published January 7th 2020 by Inkyard Press
Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.
Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.
Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.
Adam and Jolene meet in a shady run down apartment building while staying with their respective fathers for the weekend. Although they are both there as a result to broken families – their situations could not be more different. Adams family is still reeling from a death that none of them can seem to move on from, but the love for each other is still there. Jolenes family was broken from the start with no hope of repair.
The friendship that starts from proximity grows into something deeper as the weekends progress. Soon those visits are not dreaded but anticipated because they get to be together. Through their walks, texts and movie marathons they help eachother navigate the hardships they are both facing.
This book broke my heart. The different levels of grief that all the characters are feeling is tangible. This isn’t a simple friends to lovers YA contemporary. It is so much more. It deals with really hard situations that are real, but weaved within all of the hard stuff is a story of forgiveness, strength, family, friendship and love. There are all of these moments that make pressing on worth it.
This book does contain death of a loved one, alcohol abuse, severe neglect and emotional/physical abuse, sexual assault. It would be suitable for older teens and up. It is emotionally heavy.