*ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review*
4 “Cole Reynolds” “Sasha” “Derek” Kisses
I don't know what I was expecting from In Her Wake but...I don't think that was it. And I mean that in the best way possible. I absolutely loved Ten Tiny Breaths and I've loved the other stories that have come after it...but this one is completely different. It's Trents story told straight from his heart. In Her Wake is technically a prequel, because the events happen before TTB…but I would highly recommend reading it after TTB…you can read it either way, but it means a lot more if you read TTB first, IMO.
Cole Reynolds...that's who we get to meet in the beginning. The care free guy who is in college with his best friends...playing football...enjoying life. We get to meet Sasha and Derek...the guys he has known all his life and who are as close to him as brothers...they're like the three musketeers, it's a really endearing bro-mance that I was quick to fall in love with. We get a brief glimpse at who he was...what he was like...it's like a sneak peak into something that wasn't meant to be...it's more heartbreaking than you think. And in the span of one bad decision it's all gone.
‘If only they hadn’t stopped for pizza.
If only I had remained at home to study.
If only I had stayed sober like I was supposed to.
If only I hadn’t handed Sasha the keys.
I leave the apartment, drowning in a sea of “if only’s.”’
I know the story...from another perspective. I know it from the victims...the people who did nothing wrong and yet suffered the consequences. I know the people who had the pick up the pieces...heal...and live without their parents...their boyfriend and best friend. I know the pain that both Kacey and Livie dealt with and overcame...and if I thought that was rough...I was so naïve…I had no idea. There is a whole different side of pain in reading this story from Cole’s POV…and if I thought it hurt dealing with it from Kacey and Livie, it was excruciating. It's easy to try and blame the person who was at fault, to try and give you heart some kind of peace or closure over what is by all accounts a horrible accident...however, knowing the other half of the story makes it ten times harder. In a situation like this...there is no easy way, it all hurts.
‘I stare out the window at the overcast sky, trying to dull the pounding ache between my eyes with thoughts of a red-haired girl. Wondering how she is.
Wondering if she feels like I do right now, like she’ll never be free of that night. She must feel it. She’s the only one who possibly could.
Maybe it’s time I found out.’
Cole absolutely demolished my heart...I already loved him more than words from TTB but getting his POV on the accident and what happened after it was so eye opening. Not only of losing his best friends, but what happened to their families and his family after the accident…the guilt…the depression…the memories…all of it hurt so much. I felt like I got to meet and get to know a different person...it's the same guy but hearing his thoughts and emotions on all he suffered through was just...different. Cole’s heart and mind will never be the same after that accident...it forever changed him and I understood that transformation better. Cole may have been the one in the car that night but Trent is the one who was meant to live through it.
‘I don’t remember what it’s like to not feel this toxic mixture anymore – pain and sadness and guilt that eats away at my insides, leaving me hollow and wishing that I’d just lay my head on my pillow one night and never have to lift it off again.’
It's really easy to look at what Cole does with Kacey and think he's some crazy stalker dude but really...he had no one else who truly understood him after that accident. No one else lost as much as he did...no one else suffered as much as he did...except for Kacey, she's the only other person who can really get what he's going through. That accident took not only an emotional toll on him, it was mental and physical too. He lost more than just his best friends after the accident…he lost a piece of himself. It’s hard to know what to do with yourself when everything you’ve known for almost your entire life is just…gone, in the blink of an eye.
‘I can almost hear the note that sits in my back pocket answering me, giving me courage. The courage that I will need if I want to make her smile again. Because it’s all I want to do.
To make her smile again.’
This is not a happy book...it's a book for clarity and closure. I shed many tears, but I feel so much closer to Trent. In Her Wake was a way for me to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of a book boyfriend that I've loved for over a year...and I'm happy I got it, just makes me miss him more now!