While braving this weird, but persistent urge to read NA books, I stumbled across Colton Calloway.
A.K.A Colt. The hero of this story.
Colt may have grown up in white-bread suburbia, but none of that has stuck to the man he has become, none, except the ghost of feeling unwanted and alone. When he left suburbia, he found...something--another type of family, perhaps...he found out how to make it on his own in the streets of New York.
At first, I was like, "Un-uh, you can't sell it to me, Ms. Wilder." I'd let my cynical side in and so my radar for "Psftt! Bullshit" was on. Colt comes smokin' on the scene, literally and figuratively, and the reader gets that he is a bad boy. He's a mystery. Then, lucky, we get his point of view and the mystery of Colt is unabashedly revealed. On his hard, outer shell, we see he's a fighter, a bruiser with guard and clean-up detail experience on his belt. He's an anomaly, who was accepted by gang members and girls from the 'hood. Yet, in his core, he is still that boy from suburbia whose family just didn't "get" him. He's good with his hands. He's a wiz at fixing and remodeling cars, and he is an artist with his voice and a guitar. A bad boy fighter-artist who knows the dark side of life, but keeps his honor? Great book boyfriend, right? Typical, New-Adult casted hero, right?
The answer is "Yes!" To all. Typical, great book boyfriend, and for the space of two hours, Colt became mine. I believed he was who he was. I believed in his need to save Nell, the heroine. I believed in his demons, and most of all, I believed, as with Colt's experience, sometimes you can never go back. Sometimes, you acquire demons that will chase you, and you can
shake em', but they'll always be there to linger, in wait for you at every possible, vulnerable moment.
Demons follow Nell as much as they do Colt. Colt has learned to deal valiantly with them. Nell has learned to deal unhealthily with them. This links to part of why Colt "needs" to be her knight. The other part happens to be that he is very attracted to her, and ends up wanting the hell out of her (Yes! b/c that damn Colt did get a lil' freak-Ay a couple times!).
Though, I've spent a lot of word time on Colt, Nell 's character is definitely a contender in this story. The story woven about Nell and her first love, Kyle, Colt's younger brother, starts off as sweet, like butterflies, and it crashes headlong into adult choices and tragedy. Kyle is awesome to read about, right to his epic end. Knowing Kyle is going to die from jump didn't prepare me for the moment. I admit. I sniffled a little bit and looked away from my kindle.
In all, I finished this story with deep thoughts about fate and forgiveness. I mean, these were the themes that screamed at me. Nell and Colt's love was like life after one survives the aftermath and awakes to feel, touch, and see
things with an acuteness and urgency because of the exact experience of knowing
that life can be taken, turned and changed in a flash.
Despite having focused on why the story worked for me, I will say that there were some discrepancies. One, Nell's character should have been given a little more development. It was hard to reconcile the Nell of before the tragedy to the Nell who encounters Colt in New York, especially when he first sees her and she is described from his point of view. I would have liked to have read about her descent into darkness(1st hand), even though I could obviously guess why it had come about. Two, though I believed that Colt earned "street cred" and his speech reflected it(especially in the dialogue with his friends, Kelly and Split, two secondary characters who could have been explored more), I felt there were a few times where street language bled into Nell's speech as well (and she would not know to speak that way) and sometimes it was just too over done. Lastly, shifts to present tense urked me a little and the ending felt rushed[which could be the reason for my upper rating as the whole story went by very quickly!
)] and it was kind of played, especially with Nell, who suddenly runs away because of a discovery.
Nevertheless, this is another time that a typical formula worked. I stumbled across, then fell
into this story, so it's safe to say that I may be reading more of Jasinda Wilder.