Ember, the oldest of 3, just received devastating news: her father won’t be coming home from Afghanistan. With her mother emotionally and physically checking out on life and reverting to those hidden recesses of her mind, Ember must take up the role as parent now. She must make sure her siblings are well cared for and fed. Easier said than done when one of them is 17 and rebelling against the news of their father’s death. Soon her whole world is crashing in around her and there is no one there to help her pick up the pieces. Or is there?
Josh Walker was the one person Ember crushed on since freshman year in high school. And if she was honest with herself, he is still that person. But she is in a great relationship with a great guy and they have a great plan for their future. When things start going wrong, Josh is there at every turn to help her out and be her ‘whatever’. With his help she slowly starts to emerge from the darkness and make her way back to ‘normal’.
As predictable as the story was, it didn’t make the hard scenes any easier to handle. It was like I knew what was going to happen, but was shocked by how it all played out. In a good way. Because I gotta tell you, this was one hell of a story. So yeah it was predictable, but still one of my most favorite reads so far this year. Absolutely amazing!
*** "The fire you have within you is impossible to kill. The first breath you take when you're free of all this, it will come roaring back. That's what is so impossibly beautiful about you."
Did I mention the romance? Oh yeah, there is plenty of that and more. The chemistry between Josh and Ember was instant and constant throughout the book. I was in love with these two from the moment they meet in the grocery store and I needed these two together like I needed breath. They were undeniable together. They just had to overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives.
I actually hurt with these characters, even at the very beginning when I hardly knew them. I cried like a little baby (mainly towards the end) and was overcome with such emotion. (I blame it on the fact that I recently just watched LONE SURVIVOR.) And I laughed with them and their silly antics. This book had me feeling a wide assortment of feelings and emotions. It was such a fresh read and I am finding that I really enjoy books about military more and more now.
*** Like we needed a memento. War was such a spiteful bitch; she took everything we loved and handed us back a folded flag in return, telling us the honor of their sacrifice was a just and equal payment. It wasn't.
When I finished this book, way past my book bedtime I must add, I found I couldn’t sleep. I kept replaying this story inside my head and instantly wanted to reread the story just so I could relive it all over again. Yes, the book is just that phenomenal! It is definitely one of those reads that the reader will have a hard time forgetting. So as I end my review, know this…it is a must read! It was heartbreaking and oh so believable. 5 Epic stars from me!