Date Read: August 3, 2014
Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Genres: New adult, romance
Summary (taken from Goodreads): When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
Review: Going into this book, I expected a typical romance. I was interested in the fact that Avery’s son had autism, but I didn’t think it would play a large part in the book – or be included so well. In fact, I fully expected to be disappointed.
The autism was portrayed nicely here, but that wasn’t all. Being a mother in general was really captured in this story. I feel like so many novels – and maybe this is because I read mostly young adult, where parents tend to be absent – show people with children, but they don’t feel like parents to me. They don’t sacrifice for their kids or do anything that a “real” parent should.
Avery does. This isn’t important just because Max is autistic, either, although it does mean he needs extra attention and understanding. But every child needs parents who are willing to put their lives on hold, who are going to do anything it takes for their kid. I think this book captured that wonderfully and blended it together with the love story.
I will say, once I was into the story, I predicted nearly everything. Only one thing at the end caught me off guard – and surprisingly enough, that wasn’t even the part that made me cry. I did cry, though, because Avery was such a caring mother, and the way she worried for Max was touching. At one point, her father pointed out what I had been thinking throughout the book – she shielded Max too much from the real world. And her concern and her tears in that moment caused some of my own.
This book wasn’t about plot, at least not for me. It was about emotion and what it’s like to be a mother. It was about Max, and it was about making time for yourself – it was about Avery.
The only fault I found was the rush towards the end. It felt like too much happened at once, and it might have been better if the book were longer so things could be slowed down. That way, the characters could work through one thing at a time, and so many important events wouldn’t be thrown at once toward the readers.
Really, though, that’s a small thing when I think about how much I enjoyed this book. It was real and heartfelt, and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up.