First day of school is never easy. It's even less so when you're new in town and all you want to do is simply fade to the background. Nastya Kashnikov not only has to deal with that, but there's the problem of her not speaking. Luckily, she doesn't want to fit in, but simply ignoring everybody around her isn't possible. There is a boy who simply won't take no for an answer (at least he is entertaining) and a boy who obviously wants nothing to do with her, but simply compels her - Josh.
She has been through a lot in her life, and dealing with the consequences is exhausting. She has no space for relationships of any sort. And yet, she finds herself seeking Josh's company, at least in private.
Josh has demons of his own. People he loves just seem to leave him. So, caring for somebody new - not the best idea. And yet, Nastya, his Sunshine (awww), manage to sneak past his defenses.
I really, really liked the book. I adored Nastya and Josh, and cheered all along for them to be happy. Their slowly developing relationship, with all the ups and downs is heartbreaking to read about, but at the same time it offers hope and joy. Seeing them find not only comfort, but love in each other was a true pleasure to read about.
There are some passages I liked (they are mostly sad, but touching):
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
I feel like I’m waiting here. Waiting for something that hasn’t happened yet. Something that isn’t yet. But that’s all I feel and nothing else. I don’t know if I even exist.
... I’m in the dark and everything is pain.
So I didn’t do the normal stuff I was supposed to be doing at fifteen and sixteen. At the age when most kids are trying to figure out who they are I was busying trying to figure out why I was. I didn’t belong in this world anymore. It’s not that I wanted to be dead, I just felt like I should be. Which is why it’s hard when everyone expects you to be grateful simply because you’re not.
Something a bit more uplifting:
I know at that moment what he’s given me and it’s not a chair. It’s an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn’t given me a place to sit. He’s given me a place to belong.
I’m not sure how long we sit in Josh’s truck, holding hands, surrounded by darkness and unspoken regrets. But it’s long enough to know that there are no stories or secrets in the world worth holding onto more than his hand.
And then again amusing:
Of course if I were to take the books at their word, I’d also have to believe that all teenage boys go around calling girls baby, because apparently that’s the express train to romance. He was an asshole a minute ago but then he drops the baby on you and it’s all over. Uncontrollable swooning and relinquishment of all self-respect activated. Ooooh, he called me baby. My panties are wet and I luuuuuuuv him. Do real boys actually call girls baby? I don’t have enough experience to know. I do know that if a guy ever called me baby, I’d probably laugh in his face. Or choke him.
All in all, an amazing book that I highly recommend.