I think it’s fair to say at this point, that it’s known I have a SERIOUSLY INTENSE secret love with the student-teacher relationship trope. (It in no way is related to the fact that I come from a long line of teachers in my family😉). E.K. Blair wrote an incredibly thought-provoking, insanely emotional (be prepared to have copious amounts of tissue nearby), heart-wrenching book, that is full of emotional turmoil and upheaval.
Cam is a seventeen-year-old girl who is thrust into adulthood too early in life. Yes, she is seventeen, almost a senior and off to college soon, but literally everything changes in the blink of an eye. While taking on the weight of the world on her shoulders, she hasn’t been able to fully grieve her situation and doesn’t know how to deal with all the inner pain that she is feeling. Unfortunately, this leads her down the only path that she has found to experience relief. The depression, hurt, pain and feelings of being unloved just roll of the pages with Cam.
For some inexplicable reason, she feels an immense draw towards her swim coach/English Lit teacher, David Andrews. They are both grieving and can tell that the other truly does understand where they are coming from and what they are going through. This immediate chemistry, doesn’t mean this is a quick to the point relationship. This is a slow burn relationship with speed bumps.
Even though I love this type of genre, there can be some books that leave me wanting or feeling yucky when it comes to an underage heroine. SL WAS NOT that type of book. I was feeling everything that Cam was, including the phases of her relationship with David. Complete perfection! Where I had a hard time, reading was on how Cam dealt with all these negative emotions/situations in her life. I just felt for her and wanted to say, ‘No, you don’t have to do that’. Alas, she did and it was heart-wrenching to read her struggle with this. (Sorry, but I kept this rather vague so you also get to develop and acknowledge all she’s going through as it happens.)
“You were always the one thing that felt like home to me, and even though I found a way to exist without you, a part of me has always been lost–.”
Let’s talk about Cam and David. Oh my gosh, they have a story like no other and I was LOVING it. ❤ The love that they experience was very true and sweet. Yes, there were some hot and fiery times, but overall, they had developed themselves as one unit. They had to go through some extremely difficult times as well as overcome a big age gap. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with an age gap as big as it was. I have personal experience with a couple that has a big age gap (not me) and it doesn’t bother me. I guess you could say I’m immune to it. On a side note: I will say, that some books with couples of the same gap were annoying and unbelievable, so I think it all depends on the author and character situations. In this situation, Cam is older than her years and David is younger than his. Both are extremely deep characters with some experience under their belts in terms of life situations.
“A part of me wanted to die before you came along. My world was so dark, and then there you were, and I swear to God, David, you saved me. You opened me up and showed me a love I felt so undeserving of, but you gave it to me anyway.”
E.K. Blair wrote an emotional story that hits hard and doesn’t leave any punches. She took me on a wild ride that dealt with some extremely tough topics. This was a ride that I was happy to experience and didn’t want to get off. I was left hanging for a few days that left me in limbo while I processed my thoughts. A truly worthwhile read.
“I’d crawl beneath his ribs if I could. Press my lips into the tissue of his heart. Swim in the narrow of his bones. I’d give him the very same if he asked for it. I’d cleave myself open for him, force him to take all of me, because that’s all I crave—to be his—only his, because in my soul, he’s mine.”