I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. This was a quick read full of emotion, great characters, and real life. I absolutely loved Eden because she was so real. She was the perfect main character. Once I started reading I almost didn't want to finish because the topic was one I haven't read in a book yet and I needed to know what would happen next. I knew that it wouldn't end well for Bonnie, and the message would be a good one, but I still wasn't fully into the story when I first started. I am very glad that I finished it though. I became super close to the characters and very attached to the story.
We follow Eden McKinley, who is perceived as a wild child, because of her past. Her best friend Bonnie is the complete opposite. She is a straight A student and all the teachers love her. Bonnie is obsessed with getting good grades and stresses over them a lot.
We start out with Eden and Bonnie getting ready for their GCSEs and Bonnie is pretty much freaking out about them. Eden knows how important these tests are for Bonnie, but she still thinks that Bonnie should chill. Eden is always telling Bonnie that she needs to chill. So when Bonnie finally does chill, it's definitely not the way Eden meant.
Eden goes through a lot in this book. Not only with her friend, but with her sister and her family. I thought this book was so thought-provoking and one that everyone should read. I will definitely need to read the rest of Sara's books!
Eden - I really enjoyed Eden's character. She never got on my nerves and I felt like she was very mature for her age. I love how she cared for her little sister so much. Eden seemed so real to me. Sara did a great job with her.
Daisy - I loved this little firecracker. She made me laugh a lot with her remarks. Although she was super feisty she was still super sweet.
Carolyn - Carolyn is such a super sweet momma. I loved her relationship with Eden. I know that it gets rocky sometimes, but she still stood up for Eden in the times that she needed it.
Bob - We didn't get too much of Bob, but what we did get, I loved. He is such a great father. I loved his relationship with Eden and how he loved her.
Vivian - I felt bad for Vivian from the get-go. I knew that the thoughts that Eden had about Vivian weren't her fault. You could tell that Vivian really loved Eden and wanted to have a real sisterly relationship with her. I love that we get more of who Vivian is towards the end of the book.
Conner - I loved Conner! He is such a sweet boyfriend. I love getting the story of how they started their relationship and they were just so sweet together the whole time. I definitely saw Conor as Eden's rock.
Bonnie - I liked Bonnie in the beginning but towards the middle and end, she just made me so frustrated. She was annoyingly selfish and did some really dumb things. But, that was her character and how she was supposed to be. I think that Sara did a great job with Bonnie and her development.
To be honest, I didn't really want to read this book at first. I thought it would be interesting to try to get from Netgalley, but when I finally got it I wasn't sure if it was something I actually wanted to read. The topic just made me nervous. But like I said earlier I am so glad that I did. Sara wrote this book so on point. I felt so real to me, each character. And the more I thought about it, it's good for people to see how this kind of situation affects so many people around you. I didn't think that I would get so invested in these characters and their feelings, but I did. Let's get into it...
Although I wasn't sure about this book once I started reading it, it didn't take me long to get hooked. I wanted to know what was going to happen!
I immediately loved Daisy!
I loved how we got a list of things about the different characters, as seen from Eden's point of view.
Seeing all that Eden has gone through with her and daisy being fostered by different people, and then finally getting adopted by Carolyn and Bob was interesting. Me being adopted made it more personal as well.
I thought her adoptive parents were so awesome. They were sweet to her and took such good care of her. The story of how Eden went through a rough time, and how Carolyn and Bob handled it was so sweet. I'm sure that that kind of parenting doesn't work on every kid, but I love how they knew it would work on Eden.
I also loved how Carolyn and Bob were landscapers and they taught Eden all they know. I thought it was so sweet how they gave Eden her own little spot in the Garden.
So I totally understand that Bonnie has been under tons of pressure, and wants to be a perfect student, but I hate how Mr. Cohn totally took advantage of her. How sad that she believed all the little comments he said and decided to run away with him.
I hate how Mr. Cohn made Bonnie believe that their relationship was forever. What a horrible thing to do to a young girl. I know she is only 15 and super naive, but I really got frustrated with Bonnie for being so stupid. Now that I look back, I know I shouldn't have been that mad at her, and way more mad at Mr. Cohn, but she just annoyed me with all her comments.
I know that Eden thought she had to keep Bonnie's secret but I'm glad that she was struggling with it. Even though she didn't tell the cops or Bonnie's mom, or even her mom, but she knew it was wrong. I'm glad that she decided to find her.
I hated that Eden had to lie to Vivian, but I am glad that Vivian agreed to take the trip. And I'm glad that Carolyn and everyone else had a feeling what Eden was actually planning. What a smart idea to plant a tracer on the car.
I was so happy that Vivian and Eden had that fallout in the car because it got a lot of feelings out there that they were holding in and they were able to start working on a real relationship.
Man when Eden finally found Bonnie and they all went into the house, it was so intense the entire time. It's crazy what "love" can do to someone. Bonnie was living such a cruddy life on the run, but she thought it was so perfect. I love that Eden tried to get her to come back and told her that she would no longer help Bonnie or keep her secrets if Bonnie didn't leave with her. Bonnie needed to hear that. It made me so sad and mad that Bonnie didn't go initially. I was seriously in tears the entire end of the book. It was just so sad.
I was so glad that the cops ended up finding them and taking Bonnie away and dealing with dumb Mr. Cohn.
It's so sad that Eden and Bonnie will never be the same, but it was obviously for the best. I'm glad the book ended the way it did. I think that it stayed true to the entire story and to the characters.
Again, I am really glad that I read this book and I would definitely recommend it!!!! Thank you, Sara, for such a thought-provoking book, and thank you Netgalley for giving me an arc!