From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary.
But then Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide behind her carefully constructed ink-and-paper wall.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
A book with a bookworm as the main character will always pull me in. Yes, sometimes it gets corny with the references to popular literature, but in this book, it wasn’t so corny. There was a purpose to Darcy’s connection of literature to her real life, though there were a few too many references to Asher being like Mr. Darcy in the beginning.
What really intrigued me about this book was Darcy’s relationship with her mother. It was more like a non-existent relationship as they didn’t talk too much and if they did, it wasn’t about anything meaningful. Their roles as mother and daughter were also reversed, due to Darcy’s mom’s hoarding. Darcy was the one on her mother’s case about the bills and buying what they needed around the house. Her mother’s mental illness is a big topic of this book and plays into why Darcy would rather escape into fictional worlds than participate in her real life.
Until she meets Asher, anyway. The more she hangs out with him, she begins to realize that maybe she needs to get her head out of her books and see what she’s missing in her life, as well as figure out what her next step will be after graduation.
The characters of this novel are all great. Yes, they have their flaws, but that’s what ended up making me like them, including Darcy’s mom. I actually felt sympathy for her because of her hoarding problem. You could feel how it wasn’t just someone loving their collection, but a real mental illness going on in her. Darcy, of course, I had to love not only because she was a bookworm with some social anxiety, but I just admired how she took on an adult role to keep a roof over her and her mom’s heads. It’s something that no child should have to do, but she did it without complaining (that much). Asher, of course, I adored and his determination to move on from his accident was inspiring.
I also have to give a shoutout to Darcy’s best friend, Marisol. She’s so genuine in her relationship with her best friend – basically Darcy’s rock. The girls’ relationship is heart-warming and it was one of those friendships where they were bonded for life. Marisol looks out for Darcy and protects her, but also pushes her when she needs to in order to get Darcy out of her shell.
Overall this story was a gem, and I would definitely recommend it to any YA lover. Between the cast, the content, and the writing, it’s a book that I know I’ll enjoy reading again in the future.
Rating: 4/5 stars