Emily believes in destiny. She’s waiting for the moment her real life begins.
Sam wishes he could escape. He’s spent his life being dragged from place to place by his father. But he could never abandon his little brother.
Then everything changes. Because Sam meets Emily.
This tender story of star-crossed love is both romance and thriller, and a compelling exploration of the power of human connection.
This book captivated me from start to finish. You’d never know that this is a debut novel, as the writing is so compelling and flows beautifully. It’s sparse, but I feel that it really works with this story as it’s essentially a modern-day fairy tale and so the style doesn’t really lend itself to complexity. There’s so much packed into what is a relatively short novel, but none of it feels rushed – the plot moves along at a comfortable pace and there weren’t any slow parts for me. It did require a little suspension of belief as some of the things came together a little too easily, however this fits in with the general style of a fairy tale and so it really didn’t matter too much to me. The thing that makes this novel, though, is the characters. The main characters, Emily and Sam, are complete opposites, yet they are perfect for each other. It was really heart-wrenching to watch their relationship develop so quickly and then be torn apart. The main star of the show though, for me, was Riddle – Sam’s younger brother. I couldn’t help but feel protective towards the kid and he instilled in me a real emotional attachment to the story as a whole. After these three main characters came a host of other characters who had smaller, but still important, parts to play. The chapters in the book move around, telling the story from the perspectives of the different characters in the book and, where a new character is introduced, we find out how they came to be where they are before we find out how they fit into the story. I liked this, because it made for more believable characters and therefore a more believable story.
I loved this story and I took from it a message of hope and of faith in humanity. I will be on the lookout for future books from this author.
Format: Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher (this edition): Piccadilly Press, 2012
Source: Free review copy provided by Newbooks Magazine
My rating: 5/5