This book was so hard to read. There were many violent scenes that had me flinching and so tense while reading, many scenes that had me in tears, many scenes that had me wanting to strangle Tyler’s father. It was real and gritty but also touching and hopeful. It was a book that I just couldn’t put down.
Tyler was a great narrator. He made me feel for him. There were many times when my chest was tight and I was holding my breath because I was so scared for him and what he was going through just shouldn’t happen. It was hard to see him pull away from his friends and hobbies he liked because he didn’t want anyone to know his secret. He could be a jerk to people but it was to push them away, to protect himself, and that just made it hurt more. His growth from self-protecting jerk to caring, vulnerable Tyler was slow and subtle and absolutely believable.
The character interactions were great. I loved the banter between Tyler and Jordyn and how it grew into something more. It started with tense snark but as they got to know each other and accept they had to work together, it developed into something more playful and flirty, and eventually into something supportive. I liked the interactions between Tyler and his former best friend Marcus as well. Marcus obviously still cared about Tyler, and Tyler about Marcus, but the tragedy changed Tyler and neither boy really knew how to react to the change in their dynamic. It was sad that a close friendship could come apart but I thought it was realistic. Same with Tyler and his girlfriend Sheila.
The pacing of the book was absolutely fantastic. There was never a spot where I had time to think ‘this seems like a good time to stop because it’s 2 am’. I had to know what was going to happen next. I was entranced by it. I didn’t even know it was 2 am until the book was over because the world did not exist outside of reading time.
I could say a whole lot more but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll leave things with: loved it!