First, I want to tackle the relationship between Samantha and her mom. WOW. Samantha's mom, Grace, is running for reelection in the State Senate race. She gets involved with Clay who is apparently some sort of political genius and all of a sudden Samantha doesn't even recognize who her mom has become. They have an interesting relationship in that Grace is so overly involved in everything in Sam's life, like organizing her clothes in her dresser drawers and making sure her schedule is always filled with proper activities. However, when Grace really needs her mom the most, she isn't there. Clay and the campaign seem to take up all of her time. I'd like to say that their relationship healed itself by the end of the book but I'm not sure that it did.
Next, the next door neighbors the Garretts. This is a family I want to know. They are big (in numbers), loud, a little disorganized but love each other so much. Samantha is fascinated by this family that she has never met until one night when Jase changes everything. Jase introduces Sam into his family and his life. Jase's family is everything Sam's is not. Their relationship starts off as friendship and quickly involves into more. They have a sweet romance that isn't over the top.
Now, add in Sam's best friend, Nan, and her brother Tim. Sam and Nan have been friends for years and when they were younger Tim used to hang out with them as well. Tim has a lot of problems and does work to overcome them, and the book shows how difficult it is for him. In the end, Tim turns out to be a better friend to Sam than Nan was.
This is a lot, right? There's more....In one night, everyone's life changes and it's up to Samantha to make a choice and whichever way she chooses, she is certain she will lose someone she loves.
I really enjoyed this book. For as intense that it was at times, it flowed really nicely. There was never any downtime. The secondary characters, like Tim and the Garrett kids were some of my favorites and rounded out this story. Definitely pick this book up!