A review copy was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.This book is full of heartbreak and sorrow, but it is also brimming with hope. It shows a dark side of how the world can be, and I really enjoyed it!Julie Porter has lived with a stripper mother and a string of her loser boyfriends for as long as she can remember. Nick Owen has been beaten by his alcoholic father since he was little. They became each other’s saviors and hope, finding solace in a small shed in Nick’s backyard. When Nick moves away, Julie is lost. But when he returns 2 years later, her life is at an all time low. Can they borrow strength from each other in their hardest times, or…My heart broke in many pieces for both Julie and Nick. Julie lives with a horrible mother who spends all of her money on drugs and alcohol. She is very self-sufficient, which is very impressive. She takes care of her little brother. She doesn’t let many people in, and I definitely don’t blame her for keeping people at arms length. My favorite thing about her is her resilience. She doesn’t let her horrible life stop her from loving fully.Nick has had an equally horrible life. He’s a total sweetheart. He would do anything for the 2 women in his life, his mother and Jules. He is uber protective and adorable. When he left for those two years, he bulked up in order to protect himself and his mother from his disgusting father. He is beyond sweet, and like Julie, he is full of strength.Their group of friends were funny and supportive. They brought a comical light to an otherwise very dark book. I hated Jule’s mother for the blatant neglect she showed to her children. Anyone who spends all their money on drugs and alcohol while not being able to afford food for their kids is not okay in my book. Same with Nick’s alcoholic father who beat him. Unacceptable.The plot was great, despite the sad topics. It moved very fast and was a fairly speedy read. It was full of some miserable and very intense things, but it has a hopeful message. The writing has both Jules and Nick’s POV, which was really nice. The chapters were a bit too short for my liking. They kept switching between Nick and Julie pretty quickly, and it was a bit hard to keep up. The romance was long developing. It was so cute hearing about how they kept each other grounded when they were younger. Their present romance was adorable. They always had each other’s back, which was crucial with their messed-up home life. They were darling, although they were rough around the edges, but they were so perfect for each other.Even though this book was filled with some melancholy topics, it brought to light a really hopeful meaning. I definitely recommend this contemporary for anyone looking for real-life situations with a delightful romance.Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: My heart stopped and my breath caught in my throat as Nick continued to brush his lips across mine, urging me to react. To kiss him back.
Warmth spilled through my stomach and I closed my eyes, allowing myself to become lost in the moment. My lips moved beneath his skilled ones with ease. His hands cupped my face and his kisses grew slower, softer, before he pulled away.Rating: 4/5 Tar Heels!See more reviews at www.tarheelbibliobabe.blogspot.com! :)