I loved this book! It was so well written and had such a powerful storyline. It will definitely take you on an emotional rollercoaster as these characters have to navigate the difficult topic of abuse. It’s not often you find a book that deals with the impact of abuse on family and friends of the abuser/abused. I found the topic to be fascinating because when you think of abuse you always think of what it does to the person being abused and don’t really think of the impact it has to those who love and care for that person. I could tell that the author did her research on the topic and the result is an emotional and moving story about one young man’s struggle to not become just another statistic.
“I get so lost in you, Frankie. You make it too easy to slip away from reality.”
Griffin Stone has had to sit by and witness his parent’s tumultuous relationship in which his handsome, charismatic, successful father has been abusing his mother for years, yet she refuses to leave him. Griffin hates his father for this and while he’ll never abandon his mother, he struggles with his feelings towards her because he cannot understand why she continues to stay. He also knows the statistics and knows that he is far more likely to become an abuser having grown up in this situation. His single largest fear is that he won’t be able to break the cycle and will end up just like his father. Having learned to channel his anger and resentment into sculpting he has been able to maintain control on his emotions. He also finds peace helping the women of Holly’s House by volunteering to sculpt them to give them a piece of themselves that they may have forgotten. This is his life until the day he meets Frankie Moore. Free-spirited and not afraid to go after what she wants, Griffin sees someone that he could finally have a connection with. But when she begins to make him feel things he hasn’t felt in years, will he be able to let her in or will his fears about his future sabotage any chance they have at actually creating one?
“What do you think?” he asks. “Would you want to take a chance on a guy who knows he shouldn’t ask you to but is asking, anyway?”
I smile up at him and he scoots up a little higher on his knees so I can turn onto my back underneath him. “Taking chances is my thing.”
I loved Griffin! Right from the very first chapter and as I continued to learn more about him and all that he does for those around him, my heart filled more and more with love for him. He certainly had his demons and I can’t even imagine carrying the burden that he carried, but despite all that (or perhaps because of that) he was such an amazingly compassionate, sensitive and selfless man. My heart broke for him time and again as he doubted his goodness, but I loved the support system that he had unknowingly created for himself and I was so thankful he had Sarah and Mr. Rothman in his life. I shudder to think what would have happened to him if he had to navigate the situation on his own. I loved his relationship with Frankie too, seeing him open up to her was heartwarming, and through all the ups and downs, I really connected to them as a couple and was rooting for them to figure things out!
I also thought Frankie was a great heroine! She was definitely free-spirited and kind of went where the wind took her but she ultimately knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to figure out how to get it. She does get kicked down from time to time but I love that she doesn’t stay down for long. There was one situation that happens in the book that made me nervous for her but in the end I wanted to give her a high five for how she handled it! It was awesome to see a heroine with a good head on her shoulders, and that was definitely Frankie despite her occasional flightiness. The way she was there for Griffin and was patient with him as he worked through his demons was great, she showed maturity far beyond her 23 years.
“Yes, Griffin. They’re beautifully, normally flawed. But even with all of those flaws, they’ll never shatter, you know. Because what’s holding them together is strong and resilient. And forever.”
There was definitely angst and a bit of suspense as the story played out and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I loved that it kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. I thought that the emotions of the characters were perfectly captured, I could feel Griffin’s struggles and Frankie’s too as she tried to convince him to see what everyone else already saw. Some of the events in this story will probably break your heart or make you angry, but overall it is a story filled with so much hope and love that it’s definitely worth enduring all of the bumps along the way! This is the first book I’ve read from this author, but I loved this story so much that I know it won’t be my last!
“We may each have our own cracks and imperfections, but together we find our stability. Together we mold into something better. Together, we are shatterproof.”