eARC provided in exchange for an honest review from Entangled Teen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TW: suicide, death of loved ones
expected publication date: january 30
you always did say that the brightest light casts the darkest shadow
I really struggled to rate this one. I really did enjoy it and I think it covered a really important topic well but I didn’t quite get what I thought I was going to get. There were a few things that just really bothered me and that kept me from completely loving it.
About 60 to 70% of this book was about the budding relationship between Willow and Beau. I mean, that’s fine and all but I thought I signed up for a murder mystery. Sure, there was that aspect but the romance completely overshadowed it. The POVs were from Willow and Beau. They often talked about what they felt for each other. It was nice at first but it started to get a bit old after a while. I also noticed that they talked like they were a lot older than what they were. Willow and Beau are seniors in high school but they talked like they were mature adults. That just kind of threw me.
However, I did like that this book covered grief very well. Grief is a raw and almost always an ugly thing. Grief changes you, almost down to a cellular level. This book really covered the topic well with Beau and Charlotte, his sister. They both carried a lot of pain with them and you really felt it. It’s refreshing to see a YA novel talk about grief and bring it up in a way that doesn’t sugarcoat it.
Some other positives were some POC rep. Jorie was black as well as her mom. Beau and Charlotte were half Filipino. There was also rep for poor people, which is something I can relate too. Pax, Beau’s friend, was poor with his mom having been laid off.
Overall, I liked this book; I just didn’t expect the romance to take up so much space and time. Had the book been marketed a tad differently, my rating would have been higher. Regardless, I still liked this book and will recommend it for those that are looking for a romance book with grief as the forefront topic.
I’d rather have my heart infected with love than live a day without it.