by Trish Doller
June 19, 2012
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
Such a heartbreaking and beautiful book. I know it is both emotionally draining and physically exhausting to be at war but I don't know and don't pretend to understand what the soldiers go through. To be actively fighting inside a war zone one day and then suddenly returning home is just crazy but I think this book gives a wonderful take on it. I have so much respect for these people.
Travis's struggle with Charle's death was tough to read. Thank god he had Harper. If he hadn't had her by his side, I don't think he could've handled attending, let alone speak at Charlie's funeral. Harper was so brave to give Travis a second chance after the way he hurt her (although unintentional) when they were young. She was even braver to forgive him when he confessed to hooking up with Paige while the two of them were already seeing each other. I love how their relationship slowly sizzled.
The other characters were all very realistic no matter how much I disliked them. Travis's dad is a major a**hole!! I can't believe he's a dad. Props to his mom for finding the courage to stand up to him and divorcing his a**. At first, I thought Paige was cruel to hang around Travis when she left him for his brother Ryan. Then she was a total b**** for cheating on Ryan with Travis but in the end, I pitied her because she couldn't see the good thing (Ryan) she already had in front of her.
It was overwhelming to read Travis's letter to Charlie. To see that he's slowly healing. He's finally coming to terms with Charlie's death, his PTSD, his feelings for his family and Harper. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted the story to go on but I loved that beautiful ending :)