Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark Series #1)

( 104 )

Overview

New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters delivers an emotional, heart-wrenching story about the all-consuming power of first love—for fans of J.A. Redmerski and Colleen Hoover.

Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades…normal life. Until him.

Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never ...

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Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark Series #1)

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters delivers an emotional, heart-wrenching story about the all-consuming power of first love—for fans of J.A. Redmerski and Colleen Hoover.

Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades…normal life. Until him.

Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness. Until her.

Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life. That together, they could face the world. But the darkness is always waiting. Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.

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Editorial Reviews

Shh Mom's Reading Book Blog
"BRILLIANT, AMAZING, GUT-WRENCHING!"
In The Best Worlds
"I can’t recommend A. Meredith Walters' books enough...You don’t leave her books behind after the story has ended. These are the kinds of books you carry with you."
Book Addict Mumma Book Blog
"There is no question that A. Meredith Walters is one of my favorite authors. She always writes her stories so that we can relate to the characters, they jump out of the books and into our hearts each and every time. Her books have deep meaning to them but are also sweet and sassy with some sexy to steam up the pages."
From the Publisher
"The book felt REAL—-the journey, the characters, the struggles. . . . Everything that happened was believable, powerful, and very well written and I found myself unable to stop thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading it." —-Aestas Book Blog
Flirty and Dirty Book Blog - Denise Tung
"This was a very emotional and difficult read for me. However, I strongly recommend this powerful and poignant story. It is one that cannot and must not go unrecognized. Walters did a wonderfully moving and thoughtful job of telling Clay and Maggie's story. I eagerly await the continuation to this story."
Aestas Book Blog - Aestas Cross
"The book felt REAL - the journey, the characters, the struggles... Everything that happened was believable, powerful, and very well written and I found myself unable to stop thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading it."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476782317
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 6/17/2014
  • Series: Find You in the Dark Series , #1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 800,882
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Meredith Walters is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of New Adult novels including Bad Rep, Perfect Regret, Lead Me Not, and the Find You in the Dark series. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a counselor for troubled and abused children and teens. She currently lives in England with her husband and daughter.

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Read an Excerpt

Find You In The Dark

chapter
one

“you have got to be kidding me.” I groaned, kicking the tire of my piece-of-crap Toyota Corolla that had refused to start. Standing in my driveway, I unleashed every curse word imaginable as the minutes slowly ticked toward my inevitable tardiness. “Won’t start again, Maggie-Girl?” My father had poked his head out of the screen door. He had most likely been made aware of my predicament by my sailor-worthy tirade.

Sighing, I slammed my car door shut and picked up my messenger bag. “Nooo . . .” I dragged out the word in tired defeat. My dad held the door open for me as I made my way back into the house. “Didn’t you just have it in the shop two weeks ago?” he asked as I slammed my bag down on the kitchen table and threw myself into a chair.

I blew my bangs out of my eyes in frustration and didn’t bother answering. Everything was going so spectacularly wrong today. I shouldn’t have bothered to get out of bed. Maybe I should fake a cough or something and try to convince him to let me stay home.

My father took a bite of toast, crumbs falling into his neatly trimmed beard. “Well, I’ll drive you to school. Can’t have you missing that big chemistry test.” He smirked at me, as if reading my ulterior plot to skip school.

I groaned for the millionth time that morning. I’d completely forgotten about the test, but of course my dad, with his iron-trap brain, remembered. Well, that thoroughly screwed up any chance of a good day. Merry freaking Monday.

“Maggie May, what are you still doing here? The tardy bell rings in T-minus-ten minutes.” My mother breezed into the kitchen, pouring herself a cup of coffee and conferring with her watch to make sure she wasn’t mistaken about the time. Looking at my superserious, all-business, pretty fantastic-looking mother, I wondered, and not for the first time, how I could have come from her DNA. She was my opposite in every possible way: where her hair was blond and shampoo-commercial perfect, mine was a dull, mousy brown that refused to be managed into anything resembling a fashionable style. My mom had a perfect figure. She didn’t look anywhere near her age, whereas I had the misfortune of being dubbed a “late bloomer.” My underwhelming cup size and nonexistent hips were hardly anything to write home about.

But I did have her eyes. And I will say, allowing myself zero modesty, that they were pretty awesome. I loved that I shared the same dark-brown eyes and thick lashes. They were my best trait (well, aside from my astounding wit and amazing personality, of course), and I received my fair share of compliments because of them. So, no, you couldn’t compare me to the back end of a dog or anything, but, like most teenagers, I was anything but pleased with myself.

“Her car wouldn’t start. I’m just getting ready to take her to school.” My dad filled her in before I could answer. My mom gave me a sympathetic smile before giving her husband a rather obnoxiously sweet kiss good morning. They were really nauseating at times, the way they were still so in love with each other. However, deep down, I just wanted the same thing and I spent a lot of time freaking out that I would never find it. But that was a panic attack for another time.

“We can help you with it this time, you know. You worked really hard over the summer to buy it and it’s been nothing but trouble since you parked it in the driveway.” My mom, despite her Barbie-perfect appearance and a no-nonsense accountant’s personality, was pretty amazing. I took the bagel she handed to me and licked the cream cheese from the top.

“Thanks. But I still have money saved up. Let’s just hope I don’t need a whole new flipping engine or something,” I muttered. My mom ruffled my hair as if I were still five and picked up her briefcase. “Well, Marty, if you’ve got this under control, I’ve got to get to the office. I’ll probably be late tonight.” My mom ran her own accounting firm in the city—and worked a lot.

She leaned down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead and my dad another loud smack and left. I shoved the rest of my bagel into my mouth and wiped my lips with the back of my hand. A napkin appeared under my nose. “I don’t think you were raised in a barn, Maggie,” my dad joked. I lightly touched the napkin to my now-clean mouth, just to make him happy.

“You can head on out to the car. I’ll meet you there. Call Burt’s garage today; they’ll come and tow the car. Mom and I will pay for the towing, you pay for the repairs. Deal?” My dad put his tea mug in the sink and filled it with water. I felt guilty having my parents pay for my car in any way, shape, or form.

I had been the one who insisted on buying the shitmobile outside. My dad wanted me to shop around more, to get a CARFAX report; all that rational stuff that I, of course, wouldn’t listen to because I was seventeen years old and I knew way more than my parents. Well, I learned that lesson the hard way.

But I knew I most likely wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the tow and the repairs. My savings from my job at the ice-cream stand over the summer were almost depleted and I would be firmly in mooch territory soon if I didn’t find another way to earn money.

I mumbled something unintelligible, not bothering to formulate words. Dad only chuckled. “I’ll interpret that as a thank-you,” he said, shooing me out of the kitchen. I walked out to the family minivan, not focusing too much on the public mortification of my librarian father taking me to school. If I hadn’t been feeling so negative, I’d have appreciated how considerate he was.

I really was lucky in the parental department. My mom and dad always seemed to take my teenage moods in stride. Not much ruffled their feathers. Not that I’d done much ruffling in my seventeen years.

So here comes the obligatory life rundown: I was your typical teenage girl, living in small-town America (Davidson, Virginia, if you really wanted to know), on the corner of Cliché and Stereotype. My life had been conventional and uneventful. I grew up the only child of the local beauty queen and the bookish guy she fell in love with. We had an apple-pie life of family dinners and games of Monopoly on Thursdays (Wednesdays if it was Mom’s week for Bunco).

My best friends, Rachel Bradfield and Daniel Lowe, had been my partners in nonexistent crime since the womb. Our mothers had grown up together and it was predetermined that we would be as close as they had been.

I was suitably smart, sporting a solid B-plus average, and had aspirations toward college, just like my friends. I did my homework, followed the rules, and basically bored myself to death. I also was in a very deep, crater-sized rut. How sad to be a senior in high school and already done with it all. And the year had only just begun! It was the first week of September.

My car’s refusal to cooperate this morning only added to my overall malaise. I waited less than patiently in the passenger seat, tapping my fingers on the dashboard in an imperfect rhythm. “All right, Maggie-Girl, buckle up.” My dad’s persistent use of my childhood pet name (only mildly less obnoxious than the fact that I was named after some ’70s rock song by a guy with really bad hair and a penchant for supermodels) was sort of grating this morning. I wasn’t sure if Dad had yet realized that I wasn’t ten anymore. My parents had a really hard time accepting that I was—gasp—almost an adult. Although, to be fair, most days (this morning included) I didn’t necessarily act the part.

I pulled out my phone and sent a quick text to Rachel and Daniel, letting them know I was running late. Judging by the time, I was at least missing the painful drone of our assistant principal, Mr. Kane, as he read the morning announcements. He always sounded as if he needed to blow his nose.

So maybe the day was still salvageable. I tried to minimize conversation as Dad drifted lazily through our tiny town toward the high school. He sang along, rather badly, to the Righteous Brothers, his voice an alarming falsetto. His shoulders swayed with the beat.

Dad was being so over the top that I couldn’t help but crack the barest hint of a smile. He caught me, of course, my emo facade at an effective end. He let out a whoop. “There’s my girl’s smile! I knew it was hiding somewhere.” He reached over and poked me in the side, causing me to squirm and laugh grudgingly.

“You are such a dork, Dad,” I told him, not unkindly. He only grinned and turned up the radio. The auditory torture didn’t last much longer before we pulled up in front of Jackson High School. I barely gave my dad time to slow down before I propelled myself from the still-moving vehicle.

“Don’t forget to call the garage at lunch,” Dad reminded me again. I gave him an ironic salute and turned to walk toward the school. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only straggler this morning. A few other kids were hurrying from the parking lot.

I fumbled to get my phone out of my jacket pocket, wanting to send a last text to my friends to let them know I was there. I was having a lot of trouble getting it out; thus I was less than attentive as I slammed into the back of someone who had stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.

“Hey!” I yelled as I collided with the very solid body. I dropped my phone, the back popping off and the battery skittering across the concrete. The guy dropped the papers he was holding and they scattered at his feet.

We simultaneously let loose a string of expletives that would have earned me a mouth full of soap had my mother heard. “What the hell?” the guy growled, stooping to pick up the items he had dropped in our human fender bender. Okay, I was already in a craptastic mood and his snotty tone was just the icing on an already pissy cake. So, maybe I was being clumsy and all, but I didn’t need some random guy giving me grief. “Oh, I’m sorry; did I miss the Stop sign?” I fired back, not bothering to look at the jackass as I tried to fit the broken metal onto the back of my phone.

I heard what sounded like a gritting of teeth. “Guess it’s too much to expect an apology.” His sarcasm was thick, his words ground out through an obvious grimace.

“Probably,” I quipped, finally looking up into the most amazing pair of brown eyes that I had ever seen.

Hot damn. Cue the violins and happy cartoon bunnies; I was in the middle of a Disney moment. Because this guy was gorgeous. And we were standing so close to each other. If he hadn’t been holding on to a barely contained rage directed at yours truly, it could have almost been construed as romantic.

Just add delusions to my growing list of issues.

Mr. Cutie stood there in all his infuriated glory—and he was seriously angry. His perfectly symmetrical face (covered with a fine dusting of adorable freckles, I might add) was flushed a rather alarming shade of red. Those awesome brown eyes flashed murder. He was quite a bit taller than I, with dark hair that curled around his forehead and ears as if he hadn’t bothered with a haircut in a while. He had a cleft in his chin and a tiny scar under his right eye. And, despite his obvious good looks, he appeared decidedly unhinged. Wow, they were only papers.

Cute Boy took a deep breath and closed his eyes. I jammed my hands into my pockets and made the decision to get the hell out of there. I started to move around him, making sure to give him a wide berth. His voice, much calmer now, stopped me. “Well, you could at least tell me where the main office is. You know, after practically running me over and all.”

If his tone had been playful, I would have been able to pretend he was flirting with me. But nope, he was terse and irritated and in a very bad mood. And I had had enough of it for one morning. So, his cuteness aside, this guy could go take a flying leap somewhere.

“You’re a big boy; I’m sure you can handle this one on your own.” I turned and quickly walked away.

“Thanks for nothing!” he yelled after me. Yep, Hot Boy came with a bad attitude. Not really my idea of a good time, thank you very much. I couldn’t get away fast enough.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    'Find You in the Dark' is a new adult/young adult contemporary n

    'Find You in the Dark' is a new adult/young adult contemporary novel that revolves around Maggie Young, who has had a normal life for as long as she can remember. That is, until she meets Clayton Reed - a mysterious and tortured guy who thought he never had a shot of being happy. Until he met her. They both thought that their love could overcome any obstacles life put in their way. But sometimes the darkness can overshadow the brightest things and the only way to find happiness is to dig deep within yourself.

    I normally don't read contemporary romance novels, but I'm glad I gave this one a chance. It deals with some very serious and heavy issues - namely mental illness - and it's not a story that everyone will enjoy reading or be able to relate to. I was easily drawn into the story and understood what Maggie and Clay were going through because I deal with mental illness myself. I don't want to ruin the story for those who haven't read it, so just suffice it to say that it has a lot of hard issues, serious topics, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to read. I cried - a lot. I normally don't react physically to books like that, so when I do I know that it's had a deep effect on me.

    The story is very well-written and has a believable yet heartbreaking storyline. The characters are easy to identify with and I immediately felt like I knew them all on a personal level - which only made me root for them and empathize with them all the more. Maggie and Clay's story reads like a classic tale of true love overcoming all obstacles if given the chance. This novel was beautifully written and told in a way that really brought me into the story. The romance level was a great fit for a New Adult book. Overall, this is a great contemporary romance that fans of the genre will love.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Emotional Read

    This was one of the most heart wrenching stories that I have read so far. And I hope that in the sequel that Clay and Maggie get their Happing Ending.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Amazing story....very well written

    Amazing story....very well written

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    amazing read

    this book hit home, I love how its not just some silly love story, its that and more, the way the author got into the mental health issues blew me away! I'd recommend this book to anyone and everyone?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Wow!!

    This book is VERY well written. I truly felt my heart break for Clay and Maggie. I would try to take a break at times but felt myself pulled back and couldnt stop until I finished the book!
    If there is a 2nd book I will most definately read it! If you know anyone with mental illness I strongly recommend this book! It really hit home with me and helped me to understand what they go through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Was very good. If you have ever dealth with anyone with mental h

    Was very good. If you have ever dealth with anyone with mental health issues this book definelty gets under your skin! I felt it all it was so emotional and difficult to read do to the depth of those emotions. There were a few times I wanted to put it down and stop reading NOT because it was a bad story just because it was hard to read as it hit very close to home and made me uncomfortable with the feeliings it stirred up in me that I haven't felt for some time. It truly was an amazing story and the author really did amazing in tapping in to both sides on mental health!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    a must read

    what a great story.. i will never forget maggie and clay.. i cried for them and was happy for them... 2 people with a love so strong that they would do anything for eachother. of course you have to read shadows in the dark to be completed satisfied.. this was def one of the best books of the year.. it got me to understand the problems that people suffer with and it broke my heart.. so happy for clay to be the strong person that he was and for maggie to be right there waiting for him... applause for a. meredith walters..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Powerful..

    I am blown away... i loved this book. The story is incredible and throws you into every emotion possible. I thought it was going to be the typical "boy meets girl" but i couldnt have been more wrong. Amazing story A.Meridith Walters your not just a writer your a genius....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    This is a story of an all consuming first love.  Maggie loves Cl

    This is a story of an all consuming first love.  Maggie loves Clay.  Clay is sick.  Maggie is ready to abandon everything for Clay.  She would go where ever he lead her.




    "But I knew this love was an intense, hungry thing.  I worried for a moment, as I fell asleep, that his love would eat me alive."




    "Sometimes, love can't make everything better, and the best thing for everyone is to walk away.  No matter how much it may hurt." 




    So sometimes you read something and it touches home in so many places.  You may not be sure if you want to go on because the images the book is sparking for you is all to familiar.  For me this book is that.  My very first high school love was similar in so many ways to Maggie's.  Reading this captured so many of those moments.  Moments where myself as a young naive girl  found myself accepting my jealous loves I'm sorry one to many times.  Walters captures these moments with the honesty and vulnerability that they deserve.




    Sometimes in this book universe we joke that reading is our therapy.  I think in a lot of ways that this book is very much one of those books.




    For me I decided that I would love me more than I loved my crazy first love.  In the book Clay gets his much needed help but not after so much damage has been done.




    I love that this book also sheds a huge light on Bipolar disorder and mental health.  I have always believed that there is an awful stigma to mental health as a disease and if this book helps someone who loves someone with mental health or someone who has issues than kudos to you Meredith Walters.




    This is one of those reads that I will think about for a long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Go buy this book!

    This is my first review i have ever felt compelled to write. I loved this book! The characters were very relaable...i could see so many people I know in all of them! I couldnt recommend this any more! Cant wait for the next book to come out...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    amazing,must read.

    amazing,must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Great book

    Emotion emotion emotion there's lots of it it was like a roller coaster one min everything is going up the next it come crashing down in a pile of emotions. With that said i cant wait to see what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Great but....

    This would have received 5 stars if attention to formatting had been paid. Conversations were hard to follow because dialogue was all in one paragraph. Otherwise it was good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Excellent! Don't be scared by the topic folks. This is a beautif

    Excellent! Don't be scared by the topic folks. This is a beautiful story about love that transcends high school amd teenage angst. Can't wait for the sequel! Oh, it has some pretty steamy scenes too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Wow

    Oh man this was a great book! Don't keep us waiting ---- when does the sequel come out?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Amazing book!

    Wow, as I finish this book that’s the only word I can think of. This was such an emotional story to read, the highs and lows were perfectly done, and this book weighed heavily on my mind. This story will bring you to places you never expected, it will make you see things so differently. Clay suffers from mental illness, and his struggles and desperation are so well written that you feel you know him, and you want to help and protect him. Maggie falls so in love with Clay that she can’t see what really going on around her. Clay wants to be the boyfriend Maggie wants him to be, but more than that; he wants so badly to be the man she needs him to be. I was always rooting for Clay, for him to find the way to where and what he needed. This isn’t your HEA book, it’s filled with angst, emotions, and love that is so desperate – if you’re only going to read one book, pick this one. I’m so glad I found this author, A. Meredith Walters writes an amazing story and I can’t wait for the sequel, I have to know what comes next, I have to know if...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Awesome read!!!!!

    Wow! This book was great! The only time I put it down,was because I was crying so hard I couldn't see. This is a must read. I can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2014

    This book is fantastic and what a great lesson in tolerance, pat

    This book is fantastic and what a great lesson in tolerance, patience, and the need to reach out for help from others.
    What can I say about this book, wow, it is an emotional roller coaster, such highs and lows, one minute I am laughing and the next I
    am crying my eyes out. I love, love, love Clay he is so troubled yet so loving, my heart breaks for him, the struggle he goes through
     everyday, the deep hurt caused from his parents, they are such horrible people. I could see the writing on the wall of what was going
     to happen but no matter what I could not prepare myself for the devastation I felt, if there was not another book I would be furious
     that I read this. I am so glad I waited until all of the books in the series was written because to have to wait to see what happens
     next would have killed me. I love Maggie, she is funny, sarcastic, loyal to a fault, and so loving. She loves Clay so much and my heart
    broke for her everytime she had to deal with "issues" that came up and how this book ended had me doing such an ugly cry, thank
     goodness my husband wasn't home he would have thought I lost it. The letter at the end of this book was beautiful, truthful, and
     heart-wrenching. The author did such a wonderful job depicting how one acts when dealing with "issues", how others around this
     person may react, and how desperate a person can become to escape it all. I work everyday with young people dealing with "issues"
    and this was a great representation of how some people can act, how some people can be so desperate, wanting to feel "normal"
    how no matter how hard they fight they can't do it alone. I love how Maggie continued to love Clay, support Clay, and yes of course
    she thought her love could cure all doesn't every teenager think love is this overpowering force that can change the world lol, but she
     saw in the end that no matter what he still needed help from others. What a great example for our young people to teach tolerance,
    understanding, to learn what not to do, and to learn to turn to someone else if a loved one needs help, fantastic writing and what a
    great story. I am now going to read on and see what happens to this wonderful couple with my fingers crossed for a great HEA. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Extrordinary and well written

    From beginning to end, you will not want to put this book down. This is an amazing story of love and pain that is caused by mental illness. You almost feel what they feel and you to want to find them in the dark and make things better. Now one of my favorite books...a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Ok book...

    It was ok. The girl just made me mad.

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