Author: Anyta Sunday
Publisher: Anyta Sunday
Length: 263 pages
Rating: A List
When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad. Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.
And then . . .
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son.
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again.
Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close . . . friendship.
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers. Technically, they’re not even stepbrothers …
But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?
Under pressures of the heart?
Review: I am in love. It aches and it made me cry but it was so fecking beautiful all I can do is gush.
This is the story of how I fall in love.
This is the story of how my home breaks and is rebuilt.
This is the story of how I became a rock.
This is the story of Cooper and Jace told from Coopers perspective. We meet them when they are thirteen and fifteen. When Coopers family breaks and his world goes into a tail spin. Suddenly everything he knew as sure and safe is gone and his dad is moving in with Jace’s mom aka the other woman. And he feels like he has to choose sides and he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want to miss his dad or be replaced by this stupid new boy. He doesn’t want his mom to be sad so he wants to hate his dad, but he loves his dad and he doesn’t want his dad to be sad.
The story doesn’t follow a day by day timeline. More like experiences. So it skips days or weeks or even years. Setting up the characters and background and then giving us important details and moments. But there is no sense of having missed anything that was needed for us to be able to experience their growing up and becoming a family, there was a lot of years to cover.
To say these guys get off to rough start would be an understatement. Let’s just say it leads with bloodshed and the antipathy doesn’t end completely for a couple years. So of course they end up the very best of friends.
“I know we were forced into each other’s lives, but, I mean, I would have chosen you if I’d had the chance.”
And of course the other woman’s son, Jace, is who Cooper falls in love with. Hopelessly. Painfully. It’s Complicated.
That’s one of the things that’s amazing about this book, it’s a journey. We come into these people’s lives when the men are young and their lives are in upheaval. While things change and their perspective adapts as they do to their new “family” and even begin to see the benefits to their new life. Some things that change for them seem impossible for them to have without once again destroying their family.
“Has our story ended? If so, will it sink to the bottom of the ocean, near the aquamarines that mermaids treasure? Or will heavy breezes whip it through the sky, carrying it over every surface because it’s not finished yet?”
Cooper is obsessed with rocks and they litter the pages with their meanings and he pushes all his feelings and experiences into those rocks and they hold them for him and then he can hold that rock and remember that moment. Good or bad. And those rocks mark all the important moments and emotions and hold all his memories. They are a part of his story and they tell his story.
This isn’t a love story. It’s a life story. It’s a story of broken homes and broken hearts. Though it is filled with family, laughter, change, hope, and so much love. Every kind of love. And healing. Just because it breaks it doesn’t mean that you can’t find the pieces and make something new and beautiful and lasting. It’s not the same but that doesn’t make it less precious in it’s own right.
“You don’t get to choose your family, and you don’t always get to choose who you fall in love with.” Mum looks at Annie and back to Dad. “You may hate it and wish you could change it, but in the end, you have two choices: cut yourself off from everything or accept it and embrace it because love doesn’t disappear.”
And it’s so freaking beautiful my nose is runny. And it’s breaking my heart. And I want there to be some way that it would be okay for them to be together and for everything to be alright.
And if you are okay with the whole step thing then this book is marvelous and it will make you cry and you will want everyone to read it because it’s gorgeous and it will move you and there is a good chance that your eyes will hurt by the time you’re done, but it will all be worth it. Because they are beautiful and tragic and they deserve to tell their story and they will earn those tears and when they find their way to their happy ending you will be so happy for them.
And I made Beans read it. She too suffered from cry face. Said she loved every moment of it. And went and bought Anyta Sunday’s backlist.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on October 7, 2014, in Nina and tagged a haunting past, A List, Acceptance, Amazing, Awesome, Best Friends, Broken Family, Changes, Choices, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Crazy Family, Cry Face, Divorce, Enemies to Best Friends, Everything, Eyeball Pain, Family, Finding Yourself, First Love, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Grief, Healing, Heart Break, Heartwarming, Homophobia, Hope, Loss, Love, love triumphs over all, Making a New Life, Making Your Own Family, New Zealand, Nina, Rocks, romance, Second Chances, Secrets, Self Published, Sweet, Tragedy. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.