Marcus knows pain. The kind that swallows you like a black hole. His brother committed suicide, his mother left him, and his dad mostly ignores him. Relief only seems to come from drugs, alcohol, and secret acts of self-destruction.
Until he met Evie. Together, they lived in the moment. They fell in love—hard—creating their own beautiful world. But they each had their own secrets, their own pain, hovering like a thick fog, suffocating them in a world too small to share.
Unforgivable takes off where Invincible left us—with Evie drowning in San Francisco Bay. Marcus finds her just in time, but her survival is not the happy ending he was hoping for. Forbidden from seeing Evie by her parents and unable to reach her, Marcus learns of a pain that might break him completely.
Marcus spirals into an even deeper darkness and is forced by new events to face the demons of his past. The pain of losing Evie becomes tangled with the loss of his mother and brother, and he must finally face the ghosts he has been trying so desperately to outrun or risk losing Evie forever.
Written in poetic prose that follows Marcus through time - as a child, to a young teen, back to his time with Evie and his present without her - UNFORGIVABLE is a powerful story. The unique narrative style takes a little getting used to, but following the chapter headings clues the reader in to what time period Marcus is in on each new page. Marcus' stream-of-consciousness narrative for the "You" chapters are, in particular, beautiful and heart-wrenching. Overall the writing is gorgeous and romantic while still remaining authentic for a teenage voice.
As Marcus works to find out who he is without Evie and put the pieces of his life back together, the writing style slowly changes along with him. As his head clears of pain, the writing also becomes more solid and linear. When Marcus encounters Evie and is again rejected by her, his thoughts spiral out of control, and the writing style follows. I absolutely loved this attention to detail and character depth that the author worked into the novel.
The Verdict: UNFORGIVABLE is a powerful conclusion to a duology about recovery, change, and personal strength. I highly recommend it for fans of Gayle Forman and John Green.