Sky Davis has led a pretty sheltered life -- being homeschooled and having no television, internet, or cell phone. Her lifeline to the outside world is her best friend and next-door neighbor Six. After much pleading and reassuring, Sky finally gets her mother to relent and allow her to attend public school with Six for their senior year. But then Six is accepted into an exchange student program, leaving Sky to fend for herself. As if that wasn’t bad enough, being the best friend of Six -- who has made some not-so-great choices regarding her sex life -- has given Sky a not-so-flattering reputation. A reputation that is a bit undeserving since she really doesn’t ‘get’ the whole lustful, butterflies-in-the-stomach, toe-curling feelings that Six talks about. Or, at least, she didn’t. The day she laid eyes on Dean Holder, the feelings she had decided she’d never experience hit her like a ton of bricks. But Holder is more than a handsome face – he’s a little bit intimidating, and he happens to hold more secrets than Sky could have ever seen coming. Secrets that will change Sky’s entire world.
It was very easy for me to love Sky - her strength, her attitude, her sarcasm, and pretty much everything about this character. I was really able to relate to Sky, and reading about her home life brought back a lot of memories of my teenage years. For instance, the no sugar/candy rule. Yep, I had that rule. I used to hide my candy stash on the blades of my ceiling fan. I thought I was brilliant until winter ended; and, the first warm day in spring, my mother entered the room and turned the fan on. Before it even reached its highest speed, candy bars, Skittles, and Nerds were hurled against the walls and windows. My poor mother fell to the floor, thinking we were victims of a drive-by. Listen up, kids: Ceiling-fan-candy-hiding is only good in the winter months.
“Most teenagers are stashing away cigarettes and weed –
I stash away sugar.”
And that is just one of the many ways I connected with Sky, but I don’t want to get too personal. I only wish I had been as strong as Sky and could have handled the “mean girls” the way she did on her first day of school. I definitely would have loved to have a “very bestest friend ever in the whole wide world” like Breckin to help get me through those awful high school days! Those two were amazing and so much fun to read about. I’ve just started reading contemporaries, and the fact that Breckin had this to say about books made him one of my favorite characters:
“‘Should it matter what genre it is if the book is good?’”
I thought Sky’s realistic take on everything and her thoughts in general were completely refreshing:
“‘It’s real, Six. You can’t get mad at a real ending.
Some of them are ugly.
It’s the fake happily ever afters that should piss you off.’”
So, yeah, I had mad love for Sky. And when she met Holder and felt feelings she had only heard Six talk about? I loved her even more.
“So this is what Six loves? This is lust?
I hate it. I absolutely, positively hate this beautiful, magical feeling.”
Holder. My goodness. I don’t even possess the vocabulary that could do justice to Dean Holder. Easy to fall for, incredibly funny, a bit broken, a misunderstood bad boy, endearing, and oh-so-easy on the eyes. I love how protective he is, and I hurt for him and the secrets that he has to bear. His relationship with Sky, their texts (oh my, those texts) -- every single moment of every word written about these two was sensational. I ‘live’ them. I truly do.
“‘Live. If you mix the letters up in the words like and love, you get live. You can use that word.’”
“‘I live you, Sky,’ he says against my lips. ‘I live you so much.’”
But even through the laughter and the pure enjoyment of Sky and Holder’s interactions, I was terrified. Terrified of the secrets that Holder had. Secrets that would affect Sky and change her life forever. Learning those secrets was like having a bucket of ice-cold water thrown on me. It was so sobering and so incredibly heartbreaking that I was completely shattered by their story.
Hopeless broke me. It was a while before I could read another book without having my mind wander back to Holder and Sky. Even certain songs on the radio make me think of them:
“I don’t know how this Hopeless boy
weaseled his way into my life this week,
weaseled his way into my life this week,
but I know I’m definitely not ready for him to leave.”
There are books, and then… there are books. Hopeless is the story of two broken people who, together, can make each other whole again. Though the title may be “Hopeless,” I believe this is a story that gives hope. Hope for strength; hope for survival; and, the greatest of all, hope for love.
“Life is real and sometimes it’s ugly
and you just have to learn how to cope.”
Thank you, Christie, for listening to my incoherent gushing and fangirling over this one after I stayed up all night reading it. Thank you for turning around and buying it on my recommendation and then buddy-reading it with me a second time. I’m so happy you love this story as much as I do. The only thing better than loving a book is having a friend who loves it with you. xoxoxo
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