At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembersAmanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.
Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.
Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.
To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
With charm and heart, Stacey Kade takes readers on a journey of redemption and love.
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, STACEY KADE grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and the Goth and the Project Paper Doll trilogies). Prior to writing full time, Stacey worked as an award-winning copywriter for several Fortune 500 companies. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their two retired racing greyhounds.
Read an Excerpt
By Stacey Kade
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2016 Stacey Kade
All rights reserved.
The closet in my bedroom at home is exactly sixty inches long and twenty-four inches wide. The floor is hardwood. Pine, I think.
It's not quite long enough for me to stretch out completely, about three inches short, but that's close enough. If I curl up on my side, I'll have plenty of room.
"Come on, Amanda," Mia shouts from downstairs, her voice carrying through my partially open bedroom door. "Let's go!"
"I'll be right there." I will my feet to move, to take me out the door and down the stairs, but I am, for the moment, frozen.
I have good days and bad days. And today is definitely one of the latter. Sample Sundays always are.
The third Sunday of every month, Logan's Grocery offers free bits of cheese, sausage, and burrito on toothpicks, and you'd think they were giving away hundred-dollar bills dipped in gold. The store is always swamped with people filling their carts and their mouths. I do all right during the week, when it's mostly the same faces over and over again, but Sample Sundays are the living embodiment of chaos. And it shreds the last nerve I have. Strangers everywhere, loud noises, unpredictable movements. That's pretty much the trifecta of crap that kicks my anxiety into high gear.
But staying home isn't an option, either. Or, at least, not one I'll allow myself to consider.
"Amma, stop staring at your closet!" Mia bellows. "It's fucking weird."
I grit my teeth. Sometimes having sisters, particularly ones who know you too well, really sucks.
"Mia," my mom snaps sharply. Then her voice drops to a murmur, and I can't hear her words but I recognize the pleading tone. I know exactly what she's saying. The same thing she's been saying for the last two years.
Give her more time. This is a coping mechanism ...
Don't push ... she's been through so much. There are bound to be issues.
We just need to try to understand ...
"I don't care," Mia says defiantly at full volume. My younger sister has never lacked in confidence or lung power. She wants to be a singer or an actress or both. She's been a drama queen since birth; now she's just looking to go pro. "She's the one who freaks out if I go without her. It's her choice."
I close my eyes. That is — or was — true, unfortunately. One of the side effects of surviving the worst possible thing to happen to you is that you're left with this new awareness of the world. There's no control, no true safety; it's all random chance. Anything can happen at any time, to you, to the people you love. The world is full of sharp edges, just waiting to hurt you, one way or another.
The first day Mia went to work at Logan's, six months ago, no one told me. I had a panic attack when she didn't come home, and nothing my parents said could calm me down. It was a terrifying, helpless feeling, all this anxiety washing over me and not being able to stop it. I could understand what they were saying, that Mia was fine, that she would be home soon, but I couldn't stop the alarm shrieking in the back of my mind or the tiny voice that whispered they once thought I'd be home soon, too.
It's a little better now, especially since I started working at Logan's, too, and our schedules mostly overlap. Mr. Logan, the owner, has known my parents forever and hired me without hesitation. It's the epitome of pity employment, if there is such a thing. Still, being there, however difficult, feels more like a triumph than staying home, worrying and wondering.
"It's been two years," Mia complains. "How long do we have to live our lives around —"
"Mia! Can you shut up? I'm trying to study, and you're upsetting Mom." That's Liza, emerging from the den, no doubt with a scowl, and escalating this fight to twelve on a scale of one to ten. Mia and Liza have never gotten along; they are polar opposites. And with me in the middle but preoccupied and unable to keep the peace, it's only gotten worse.
"Butt out, Liza; no one asked you!" Mia shouts. "Amanda, if you're not down in ten seconds, I'm leaving without you."
"Mia, no, you can't," my mother pleads. "She worries about you."
Dr. Knaussen, my current shrink, thinks I lack "closure." I never saw Jakes taken into custody or even his sheet-wrapped remains. So my brain is still trying to protect me by keeping me afraid for myself and Mia, in particular. She's the same age I was when I was taken. The logic is not hard to follow, even if it's frustrating to live with.
That, however, does not explain why this lack of closure has presented itself as an obsession with my freaking closet. Then again, this is the same brain that produced Chase Henry as a "coping mechanism." I didn't even like his show when it was on, not after the first season, anyway.
"Mom, Amanda isn't your only kid!" Mia protests.
"I know it's difficult, but you might try not being a selfish brat for a day, Mia," Liza says.
"How is this my fault?" Mia demands in an outraged shriek. "I didn't even do anything! I'm just trying to go to work."
"Girls, stop, please! Your dad —"
"Isn't here. Is never here," Mia says. "Nobody will say it, but it's true. And it's because of her."
A loud crack echoes through the foyer. Liza's hand across Mia's face, I'm sure. I can see it as clearly as if I'm standing right there.
The sound and the ensuing yelp of pain send a jolt through me. That never would have happened before. My family is imploding, and it's my fault. Two years have gone by, and I'm still stuck, still struggling.
I hurry into the hall outside my room and then start down the stairs. "I'm here. It's fine. I'm ready — let's go." I pat my pocket to make sure my plastic name badge is in there.
The three of them look up at me and freeze in place, as if they forgot I was here and able to hear them. My mom is in the middle, but her arms are tight at her sides, as if she doesn't know who to reach for, to comfort or reprimand. Liza and Mia are facing off, Liza with her arms folded across her chest and her chin tipped up defiantly and Mia holding her cheek, her mouth still an open circle of surprise and pain.
It strikes me again how incomplete they look — my mom without my dad, my sisters without me. And yet, there's this sense of weary soldiers in the same battle; they're in this misery together. They are a unit, somehow, formed in my absence, formed by my absence. And I'm on the other side of the divide, and I can't reach them, no matter what I do. I guess that makes sense. I was the one taken, but my abduction happened to them.
The argument dies, as if my presence has sucked all the oxygen out of the room. But it still smolders beneath the surface, ready to spring to life again with the faintest breath of encouragement.
"Whatever. I'll be outside." Mia, blinking back tears, spins around and pushes out through the screen door.
Liza's gaze sweeps over me from head to toe, taking in the long-sleeved flannel shirt that hides the scar around my left wrist and the loose-fit yoga pants that hide the rest of me. (So far no one at Logan's has said anything about my very lax adherence to the dress code. Again, I'm sure Mr. Logan has something to do with that.)
Liza's mouth pinches in, but she doesn't say anything. Of course not. She can barely look at me. "Are you okay?" she asks me politely. As if we didn't once share a bathtub and, according to disgusting family lore, apparently poop in unison.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I respond automatically. What else am I supposed to say?
Having established this fact, for whatever it's worth, Liza turns on her heel and returns to the den and her stacks of law school textbooks.
"Are you sure, baby?" my mom asks, wringing her hands. "You don't have to go. We can work on the next section of trigonometry. Help you catch up a little more."
"No, it's okay." My class graduated a little over a year ago, but I still have another six months of home-school high school ahead of me. I tried to go back, tried to reconnect, but my friends had all moved on, finding new friendships, becoming different people, really. Two years is a long time to be gone in high school. It's a long time no matter what, I guess.
One more Sunday of extra catch-up work isn't going to make a difference.
"She's going to work, Ma, not war. She'll be back in eight hours," Mia shouts from the porch. "So will I, if you care."
"I can drive you," my mom offers to me hopefully.
Mia gives a disgusted sigh and stomps down the steps and the path to the sidewalk without looking back. Her bright red hair, about ten shades brighter than my auburn and Liza's hint of highlights, flaps behind her like a warning flag.
"It's okay, Mom. Mia's right," I say. "We'll be back soon."
Any fear I might have had about venturing outside slides to the background as I rush out the door to catch up with Mia before she disappears around the hedge. Whatever might be happening just out of sight is always worse than whatever is in front of me.
The sky is a perfect seamless blue, a sharp contrast to the red and yellow leaves on the trees, and the late October sun is warm on my shoulders. Too warm for long sleeves, but I don't wear anything else these days. It's the kind of day where it feels impossible that anything bad could happen.
Which means I'm on extra-high alert. That's why, as soon as I clear the hedge, I notice the battered black car idling, motor loud and thrumming, on the other side of the street a few houses down, facing us.
Is that weird, out of place? I'm not sure. It's not a car I recognize.
"I don't need a babysitter, Amma," my sister says to me as soon as I reach her.
Apparently she sees no irony in addressing that statement to me using the nickname she gave me because she couldn't pronounce my name when she was, in fact, a baby.
"I know. It's not about that, Mia. It's me, not you." Which, by the way, is still the suckiest excuse in the book, even when it has nothing to do with rejection.
I steal another glance at the car. It's a Mustang, I think. The light off the windshield changes abruptly — the movement of someone inside or a passing reflection? I can't quite tell with the tinted windows.
My stomach grows tight, and the air feels too hot and thick to breathe. My brain produces a vision of the car roaring across the street and a man with a blurry and unidentifiable face pulling Mia inside, while I stand motionless on the sidewalk, unable to do anything.
I swallow hard, try to clear my mind and slow my breathing. Sometimes I can stave off the panic attacks if I catch them fast enough. It's like stopping a roller coaster right at the peak of the hill: a second or two too late and there's nothing to be done but ride it out.
The dumb part is, I've had enough therapy to know this isn't really about a strange car. It's about everything else, my fear about what might happen at the store, what might happen by just being out in the world. I'm fixating on the car simply because it's here, a symbol of all the unknowns that I can't control.
"I snuck out last night," Mia announces, kicking at the dead leaves littering the sidewalk. "Did you know that?"
The shock of her announcement jerks me out of my impending panic attack, dumping me firmly into the present. "No," I manage.
"Just a party at Sammy's, no big deal." She shrugs.
"Sammy who?" It clicks an instant after I ask. "Sammy Lareau?"
She gives me an odd look. "Yeah, Jude's brother."
"But Sammy's my age," I say. What I don't say: Why is he holding parties that high school girls attend? "What's he still doing here?"
"Throwing good parties?" She makes an impatient noise. "Who cares? The point is, Dad caught me coming back in. He's sleeping on the family room couch most nights, I guess, if you didn't know." She shoots an accusing glance at me.
Stung, I pause for a step. No, I didn't know that, but that's because someone would have to actually talk to me for that to happen. And my dad, much like Liza, doesn't seem to know what to say to me or even how to be in the same room with me for more than a few minutes.
"He woke Mom up. And when they both finished yelling at me for being 'irresponsible and foolish,' do you know the first thing Mom said to me?" Mia doesn't wait for me to try to guess. "'What if Amanda had woken up and found you gone?'" She gives a bitter laugh. "It's like, 'Do whatever you want, Mia, as long as it doesn't affect Amanda.' But everything affects you."
The pure venom in her words burns like acid. This from my sister. The one who once followed me around everywhere, begging to be included in whatever I was doing because Liza was ignoring her, or pleading with me to play Don't Break the Ice because Liza had declared it to be babyish.
Like I want it to be this way? I want to shout. Like I would ever choose to be afraid forever? I set my teeth against the urge to grab Mia by the shoulders and shake her.
"It's not fair, you know?" she continues. "And I can't even get angry about it without looking like a shitty person. I mean, who gets mad at the girl who was ... gone for two years?"
Gone. That's the polite euphemism everyone seems to prefer. Like I was on vacation or at sleep-away camp or something.
A fresh burst of frustration blooms in my chest, at Mia, my malfunctioning brain, and Jonathon Jakes for continuing to mess up my life even two years after his death.
But I keep my mouth shut. Because Mia's right. It's not fair. And if her yelling at me makes her look like a shitty person, then my being angry at the quality (or lack thereof) of my life "after" makes me look like an ungrateful one. I mean, I'm the "Miracle Girl," according to the newspapers; I survived. The two girls they dug up from Jakes's backyard were not so lucky.
So I understand a little better than Mia gives me credit for. Not that I can say that. Not that I can say anything to make it better. We are all just ... stuck.
Right as we pass the car, it revs up and pulls away from the curb.
I stop, every muscle in my body screaming with tension, my hands and feet tingling, and spots flashing in my vision.
But the vehicle moves past us without hesitation.
After a moment, Mia turns around, realizing that I'm no longer with her. When she sees me, her expression softens with pity, which I hate almost as much as, well, her hatred.
"Just because something bad happened once before doesn't mean it's going to happen again, Amma," she says, taking my arm and tugging me forward gently. She sounds weary and world-wise, older than sixteen. "Past performance is no guarantee of future events, right?" She waves her free hand in a breezy gesture.
I wonder if she knows she's quoting a stock fund commercial instead of some sage philosopher. That is very Mia. She's the ultimate mimic with little care for her source material.
But I just nod and take a breath, trying to force my lungs to accept oxygen by sheer force of will. That's easier than trying to explain, easier than pointing out the flaw in her logic and her false sense of security.
Because what has not yet occurred to Mia — or most people, in fact — is that if that concept is true, the reverse must also be.
In other words, just because yesterday went smoothly doesn't mean today isn't going to fly off the fucking rails when you least expect it.
But nobody wants to hear that from the Miracle Girl.CHAPTER 2
Why do bad ideas always seem better the night before?
Just one more — come on, man. I'm still good enough to drive.
I know this great backroom poker game. Ten K minimum. We'll kill it.
She is giving you serious come-fuck-me eyes. You should totally get that.
Race you to the next intersection. Pussy brakes first.
I don't know, but I've had enough "night befores" to realize this is a trend, not a one-off kind of a thing. And somehow, I'm still agreeing to crap. Maybe that's the better thing to question.
The thick manila folder Elise thrust at me when I climbed in the car is heavy in my hands, and looking at it only makes me feel more uneasy. The labels across the front and the tab section are in all caps, screaming at me: AMANDA GRACE.
I shift uncomfortably in the seat, the leather upholstery creaking beneath me as I stretch my legs out, bracing myself as the driver takes another turn a little too fast. "You sure about this?" I ask Elise.
Her forehead pinched in annoyance, she looks up from her phone, where she's texting with one hand and holding on to the door's armrest with the other. The car service she hired to drive us from our hotel in Wescott, where we're filming, to nearby Springfield has taken her promise of a massive bonus for on-time arrival very seriously. Tires- screeching-around-corners seriously.
"That's so cute," Elise says, her expression smoothing out with a smile. "Your Texas comes through when you're anxious. I never noticed before."
Excerpted from 738 DAYS by Stacey Kade. Copyright © 2016 Stacey Kade. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To start, I had never heard of this book before BEA. But I saw it mentioned on one of the fliers and one quick check of Goodreads told me all I needed to know about this book. That I wanted to read it. The cool thing about getting this at BEA is the fact that I even got to meet the author and chat with her. Stacey Kade is super cool and now I can't wait for her YA book that comes out in August! Amanda Grace was taken on her way home unwillingly. She's able to escape, but feels as if she has more damage than she started with. Then comes Chase Henry who had a helping hand in helping her survive and wants to meet her. (According to his publicist.) But things don't go according to plan and their meeting takes a turn for the worse. The number one thing I loved abot this book was the storyline. I was literally hooked from page one. There was something going on with every page turn. It really surprised me because after finding out we wouldn't get that much of her backstory, we would miss most of the mystery. But there was also another mystery in there that was really enjoyable. I also loved Chase. He made so many mistakes in his past, but he never let that stop him. He sed them to make him a better person. And for that I admired him. He was more real life to me because he was able to admit his mistakes. Along with Chase, the romance was #AMASE-ing (See what I did there. If you've read it, you get it lol) I loved that the both of them came together for each other and used each other to feel better. The only things I didn't like about the book was the ending. It felt rushed. That whole scene set-up and then it was over in a page. Idk. Maybe it was because it was already at 400+ pages and needed to be ended right away, but yeah it seemed like rushed. Also a lot of the time the other characters (besides Chase) started to get on my nerves. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS BOOK IS SO SELFISH OMG. And it sucked even more because there was only one person in this book who deserved to be selfish. Thanks to BEA I was able to grab a truly awesome thriller that I can see myself reading again. Y'all if you haven't heard of this "epic" read, add it to your TBR. It's such a good book! You definitely won't regret it.
738 Days she spent in captivity...738 days she stared at his face above her bed...now that's she free and sees the real Chase, just what will she ever do? Amanda was captured and held prisoner by a man for 738 days when she was fifteen. While he did unspeakable things to her, she found solace in the Chase Henry poster that hung above her bed that gave her a connection to home. When she is finally rescued, adjusting back to regular life isn't as easy as first anticipated. She's paranoid all the time, it's hard for her to go to her job, heck, it's hard for her to even wear short-sleeved shirts. Enter in Chase Henry - once heartthrob and now washed up actor. He needs something big to get him back in the limelight and what better way than meet up with the girl that said he helped saved her all the years ago when she was in captivity? But neither of them are what each other is expecting and the more time that they spend with each other, the more they start falling for each other. Will they figure out a way to make it work...or with everyone plotting against, will they fall apart? While I thought this book do so many things right, there were a few things that I just quite couldn't get fully behind. I thought both Amanda and Chase were amazingly realistic and dynamic, complex characters. The hoops and trials they had to get behind and over in their lives were truly horrible, and they handled it in real and true ways. I truly rooted for both and them, and I believe they both learned so much over the past few days. And there lies my biggest problem with this book. Chase and Amanda fell in love in just a matter of days. Like, what, three or four? I loved the dynamics in their relationship and I truly believed they cared deeply for each other, but it would have made much more sense over a few weeks or months instead of four days. Did he even find out what her favorite color was? Like, that was honestly not what mattered, and to throw a cliche, out-of-style phrase out there, my head met desk a couple of times. That's what really knocked a few stars off. A relationship cannot be built in a few days that is filled with trust and love - especially for these two that are so completely and utterly damaged. Stacey Kade does have an amazing writing style, and it is so ridiculously easy to read. She tackled dual POVs and made it easy to tell the difference between them with their unique and complicated personalities. She made me feel for each of them. There were some parts where I got a little bored, but it might have been because I just got off high fantasy readings. I also think Kade dealt with Amanda's trauma and fear very nicely and it was truly believable. I have no way of knowing what Amanda felt or would have felt having been in her position, but I loved how just because how she felt about Chase didn't mean she still couldn't be scared of his touch - which is how the world works and not just what New Adult seems to think. Overall, this was a good read, but I think there were a few things that were far too rushed. I would still recommend if you were looking for a good, feeling romance. You must be able to suspend quite a bit of reality in order to make it work. Check out more of my thoughts: https://bookprincessreviews.wordpress.com/
Kidnapping stories are hit or miss for me. I'm drawn to them for the most part, though I don't always enjoy them. I liked how this story revolved around the "after". We only got a small dose of the kidnapping itself, but instead we were able to see the way this type of tragedy affects not only the victim, but the family and others surrounding the victim. All too often we forget that things like this affect many, many people, not solely the victim his or her self. This story focuses quite a bit on growth, but also the healing process for both the victim and her family. Amanda Grace was held by a horrible man for 738 days against her will. After her escape, she is now fighting to live as normally as possible. With overprotective parents and basically everyone in her life trying to do what is best for her, she feels her recovery is taking far too long and going far too slowly. She decides to take matters into her own hands once and for all and take some dramatic measures to finally start healing. Chase Henry, the former teenage heartthrob, has had a bit of a rocky time lately. After a short stink with alcoholism, Chase's career is on the rocks. He's fighting to stay sober and reclaim his successful stardom, but it's not as easy as it sounds... especially living in the spotlight, as he does. Everyone has their opinions of him, whether they're true or just Hollywood rumors, cause him to struggle on a daily basis. Amanda and Chase start to spend some time together, and from there they both begin to confide in each other, revealing secrets and insecurities that just may push them away from each other. The romance between Amanda and Chase was rocky, to say the least... but it's almost impossible to not route for both of these broken souls to find themselves and the life they say want (and deserve). And as I mentioned, this story isn't only about Amanda and Chase. Quite a large part of this story is also involving family and the struggles they go through as well. Amanda's sisters, especially her younger sister, play a pretty large part in this story as well. The only part that really bothered me was the fact that this entire romance took place over the span of approximately 10 days. It's easy to forget this point as this book is over 400 pages long. But in the end, this romance progressed on a very quick basis. From first meeting until "I love you" was only a matter of a few days. Also this book was on the longer side for a contemp. As I've said before, I really struggle with longer books... especially contemps. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end, it just felt a tad long for my liking. Overall, this book was pretty darn amazing. My "issues" with it aren't really issues when it comes to the big picture. This book was incredible, and I know many others will agree. I can't wait to see more reviews flowing in for this book in the coming weeks. I have a feeling it will soon be getting the attention it very much deserves. This is my first Stacey Kade book, but it surely won't be my last. I really enjoyed her writing style and I look forward to more from her in the future. (Thanks to Forge Books for the review copy!)
I don't really read a lot of New Adult books because they all have a similar plot line. And I have to admit, even this one is too. Like, falling in love was too fast, or one of them screwed up in one way or another. But what sets 738 Days apart are the narration and the emotion. The narration is actually a first person point of view for both Amanda and Chase. And for some reason the way they narrate it made me feel like as if I was their friend. And the thing is, this is the first time I ever felt or described a certain narration as that. It's not any different from others truthfully. But the way that the characters' voices, thoughts and words felt as if they were talking to me directly. I just find it beautiful. The emotion is also something that's so amazing! I didn't cry while reading but the emotions they give are so true. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just the blush-worthy scenes that made me feel, but the things that the characters' feel just goes right through me. Their reaction to certain things are just so natural and also educational for me. The feeling of wanting... That's what I felt the most. It's not just wanting the other person, it's also wanting to get better for yourself, wanting to be stronger , wanting to be courageous and the best part is wanting to love unconditionally. Amanda and Chase are such beautiful people. I really love them! Not just as a couple but also individually. Their struggles to move on, to begin again, to choose what is right and what they want are just very captivating about characters. All though they have different issues, I love the fact that they are both working their issues individually and as a team. I love the fact that they do not rely on the other person to fix their personal issue, but they rely to fix it for themselves but just having the other person support them. The messages and the lessons in the book are just very true! It's a great reminder on how to look at life at a second glance. I especially love the one about chances. Like sometimes, you just don't deserve it but you still try to take it. The secondary characters are so-so, but I love Karen the most! I don't usually have a favorite character but Karen is just a badass. I can never be like a badass like her, but I do connect to her, because I'm kinda like her if I was your friend. Tough love! Whenever I read her parts, I remembered how I was when a friend of mine betrayed me. We had the same reaction! At the end of the day, this is Amanda's story. This made me learn more about abducted and raped victims. Just learning and being aware of the issue in general, made me respect real life survivors more. It's definitely not something to just shrug off. and without saying too much about Amanda's story, I love the ending. All in all, I really love this book! I wasn't even done reading the book when I decided that I'm going to reread it. I loved Amanda and Chase, the love, the messages, the lessons, the story, everything!
738 Days is a really fast, but cute read, perfect for when you're in the mood for a New Adult romance that takes place outside of college, featuring a young woman trying to find herself after an incident in her past, and a newly struggling actor trying to prove himself to the world without letting go of who he is. It's a unique - if not original - love story that will definitely leave a mark in the feels area.
I really wanted to love this novel. I wanted to be in this emotional, sentimental, dreamy state as Amanda put back together her world with the man who others thought saved her but it just didn’t happen like I thought it would. I wanted depth and tender-hearted moments as the two of them struggled to find themselves but I felt as if the author didn’t go as deep as I thought she should. The beginning of the novel had the emotional intensity that I was looking for but as the novel progressed, I thought its intensity weakened. I really enjoyed the story, the characters were wonderful but I was ready for the characters and their emotions to hit me hard as they came to grips with what their lives had become. As the novel opened, Amanda existed in a hidden section of Jake’s basement. The intensity, edginess and urgency of the words that the author poured out onto the pages had me immediately draw into the story and I was worried for Amanda and her safety. Chained with heavy shackles, she existed only for Jake but Amanda kept company with Chase whom Jake knew nothing about. His image on the wall suddenly becomes more than just a picture and he gave her life and hope. Miraculously, Jake slips up and Amanda finds her freedom once again outside the walls of his darken tomb. It is now years in the future and Amanda is still dealing with the trauma of her past. She wants to move forward but the memories are still there and haunting her. Chase, the man who kept her breathing and moving forward during her captivity is fighting his own battles. Once a successful actor, Chase needs to shine again in the public’s eye and his agent believes touching base with Amanda while the camera’s are rolling just might be the ticket. What a powerful and emotion journey this encounter begins. I was excited thinking about what reactions the two of them might have meeting for the first time. It’s quite a journey, one for the books. I never thought Amanda would react the way she did, she was brave yet I kept thinking as I read Amanda, what are you doing? Family is important and I think Amanda realizes how important her family is throughout this ordeal. All the characters are searching for something although they are not quite sure what they are willing to give up to get what they want in the process. It was an interesting novel and it made me think.
Original Review can be found on my blog, As Dreams Are Made. Link: http://asdreamsaremade.com/2016/06/book-tuesday-738-days/ The feelings, guys. Wow. Amanda was abducted and raped when she was 15. Kept in the basement of an old house by a psychopath, she still deals with PTSD even two years later. Her reason for escape however? A made up version of the actor Chase Henry she thought up in her head. Two years later though, the real Chase Henry is far from heroic. Dealing with the consequences of poor decisions, Chase is trying to re-up his public image and thinks to do so with Amanda. When their feelings turn more than business like though, and a new threat surfaces that threatens to tear them apart, both Amanda and Chase must decide whether or not to take the leap and jump into this new relationship. Wow. I loved this book. It rips you apart then puts you back together again. Just like humpty-dumpty–just more brutal. I didn’t think I was going to be able to read this book at all because of the subject matter. I couldn’t even look at Room for the same reason, but it didn’t really deal with the captivity so much as the aftermath. Amanda was a really complex character. She’s not what you would think. She’s really blunt about what happened to her–to the point of putting people in their place and making them feel a little uncomfortable. Her PTSD holds her back from living a full life and you see her struggle with it. Kade did a fantastic job of highlighting PTSD and it’s consequences in a realistic and heartbreaking manner. I really loved Amanda’s journey. Her growth and eventual trust in Chase was fantastic to watch. I loved Chase. You could see he was really trying to redeem himself for his past actions, often taking the brunt and criticism of his coworkers in order to prove himself. He struggles with what he’s doing to Amanda. He knows it’s wrong and he tries to fix it, but half the time he just blunders it up because he doesn’t know any better. Their relationship was two tortured souls coming together to heal each other from their pasts–they didn’t want to be defined by them which I think is an empowering message. The plot moved really well. You were so invested in Amanda and Chase that you couldn’t stop turning the page to see what would happen. The ending was a bit predictable and I wish the epilogue gave a little more, but it was still very satisfying. If you want to read a book that will just make you feel everything, pick this up. It’s a story about redemption, love, persevering in the face of adversity, and realizing that everybody deserves to be loved. That’s a powerful message, don’t you think?