I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.
Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.
Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.
The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?
This book goes down in the history of ugly cries for me. It probably should top the list seeing as I still can’t hear out my right ear. So I was reading this and got to a really emotional scene and starting crying my eyes out. You know that cry when you cry so much that your nose stops up. Well, I went to blow my nose through the tears, and it felt like my ear was trying to blow itself as well. After all that relief of crying, my ear clogged up. It’s now Tuesday and since Saturday night it hasn’t unclogged. I’m deeply disturbed by my amount of tears that I was able to produce from this story. It was gut-wrenching hard for me at times. I feel bare to my bones. I don’t know the last time I have felt like this in regards to a book. It was sad to see somebody like Josh who was so innocent in so many ways, become so broken.
I really like Josh. Josh is 18, and living on his own. He’s searching for a place to just die. Not suicide in the normal sense, more of the just fading away. His idea of just fading away is going to New England to see the beautiful fall weather and just sit in peace with his mom’s ashes and gradually end his life. I can’t put in words on how I feel for him. He has nobody in his entire life to care about him. Hell 2% in had my eyes watering up. I felt like this lump was in my throat most of the time. Easton does an amazing job when it comes to Josh, being in his head felt so real at times, and I think the writing was so spot on that at times you can close your eyes and picture everything that is going on.
Mark is struggling with his own issues as well. He trying to re-coup to civilian life. The Marines didn’t work out for him, and he’s not in the right head space to be around people. Add on the fact that he hasn’t come out to his parents yet, and he’s desperately lonely. He doesn’t realize it at the beginning of it, but finding Josh and trying to do some good in the world makes his notice it. Mark faces some of his own dark history. He comes to the realization about why he joined the marines, and alot of his issues were self-sabotaging. I think Eli did a good job with Mark.
“That’s the way I want you. Like I would crawl over hot coals to get to you. Like nothing would ever stop me from being with you–not if you wanted it too.”
This is a slow-burn in the romance department, but I really liked that. I love that Mark had to be the adult about things and make Josh see that he didn’t want anything from Josh because of him owning to him. It has its dark moments when both guys are done for the day, and sitting on the porch talking. They both are hurting and that one thing they don’t have is friends. I’d like to think of them as friends first. Sure the romance happens, but the friendship builds up their trust towards each other. The most heartbreaking scene comes at the end, and boy is it ugly cry material. Sure miscommunication is at fault, and love comes into play but it was still so painful to read. As much as I cried, I loved reading it. At the moment, I felt everyone’s pain. I truly love Eli’s writing. Her stories, and characters just work for me. I love the realistic feeling I get when reading her books. I can’t wait for her next release. This one is highly recommended with a box of Kleenex on the side.