I think I’m a sucker for punishment; finishing two books in one day is a big feat for me but my brain is definitely jumbled. Jumping from a fantasy novel to a CoHo novel probably wasn’t my greatest idea, but that didn’t make me enjoy this book any less.
There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.
Even though there was the same heaviness that I have come to correlate with any CoHo novel, this was probably the lightest and easiest read I’ve had since I started my book hauls.
Auburn is such a broken soul but has this lightness and gentleness to her despite everything she’s gone through. She is driven, dedicated, brave, and yet so self-deprecating it almost breaks your heart. Granted, she didn’t have it easy at all, and I will say now that I wanted to reach through the book and hit Lydia on countless occasions, but she eventually found her strength and took everything back that was taken from her.
Owen was just as lost as Auburn was and for similar reasons. It turns out that family, while the very thing that can pull you together, build you up and help you be the person you need to be, can also be the reason you fall apart and that was the case for Owen. I was so shocked, so taken aback, by the amount of selflessness he had, it honestly left me speechless at times.
Even though they didn’t know each other long, this was one of those novels where “when you know you know” was the biggest factor and it was something I had to get over. I’m personally not a big fan of things moving that quickly, however, CoHo did a good job at connecting everything together at the end where I actually fell in love with it.
As much as I enjoyed their relationship, and, even more than that, their individual character progression, the biggest concept I fell in love with was Owen’s art. His art studio is called Confess; people leave anonymous confessions in a drop-box connected to the studio, and Owen picks and chooses ones that speak to him and paints them. He then puts the confession under the paintings during his showings.
I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved the idea behind that. It was something I never would’ve even thought of and I never realized how badly I needed something so unique like that until now. What hit me even more about it, is that CoHo had people write in actual anonymous confessions that she used within this story. I think connecting with certain confessions makes you realize that you’re not actually alone, that other people are going through something similar, and that alone made me fall in love with this novel.
Everything considered, my own distaste for fast-burn novels, I still rate this 4.5 stars. The ending actually had me in tears; she wrapped up this story so nicely that I was kicking myself for not putting the pieces together sooner. I fall in love with a lot of characters while reading for countless different reasons, but I think Owen may have just taken the top spot.