Two boys. One love. Ten summers.
Are you okay?
The first words Zed says to Caspian, and the first time someone has cared about the answer. On a hot summer’s day, the lives of two boys are changed forever. A rebel and a risk taker, Caspian doesn’t give a damn for the consequences. Studious and obedient, Zed is the good boy who is never good enough.
The two couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they share, a need to belong to someone who understands them, someone who cares. Their friendship goes deeper than either can possibly imagine. They’re young, in love, and planning their future when an act of betrayal tears them apart.
Fate deals its hand. Seasons pass. Zed’s words follow Caspian through pain, fear and into the darkest of places. Friendships can last a lifetime, even when the world conspires to crush them. But this is more than friendship. This is love and they’re not going to let it slip through their fingers.
I’ve been dragging my feet with this review. Which is entirely unfair but I was struggling to properly describe my overwhelming thoughts. Still am, to be honest. So, here goes and apologies in advance.
This isn’t just a story…but an experience.
This experience isn’t just moving…it’s a string of explosions.
These explosions transfer from the pages…and directly hit your heart.
I was furious. I was terrified. I was devastated. I was overcome with joy so bright, I couldn’t see the words. I’m sure the tears had nothing to do with that. This book is a tsunami of feels, not all of them good, but I have no doubt that I will never forget it.
At first, I was concerned about the number of pages but I quickly discovered the reason behind the size. This book is a journey! Ten years pass from the beginning to end but it felt like a lifetime. Mainly because…there is a LOT going on. They went through so much together (and apart) and by association, I was exhausted by the final pages. Barbara mentions her triggers in the blurb and they shouldn’t be taken lightly…
The Story of Us is a tale of love and survival, and the triumph of good over evil against the odds. It’s a new adult contemporary romance that deals with family and social issues. There is violence and cruelty to children but not sexual assault. The story has sexual situations, dark elements and suspense. The events and locations are a mixture of real and fictional. The characters are fictional.
At times I wondered what I had gotten myself into but I also knew there was no way I could give up. Never. It was imperative that I pushed through and made it to their happily ever after. *deep sigh* So grateful that I did.
Zed and Caspian. Oh my heart! I loved each of them to bits. They are nearly neighbors but live in different worlds. Opposites not only attract in this tale but they fuse together. These two hearts and souls connect in a way that I can’t say I’ve ever seen before. It was breathtaking. Sadly, it was also heartbreaking. Zed lives with a monster. Caspian faces appalling betrayal. They are beaten down, kicked, and abused by those that should love them the most. The horrors that confront them are atrocious. I raged. I cried. I burned with a fierce need to protect them. But then, the storm clouds began to clear. Amazing and caring allies appear and I was overcome with relief. Zed deserved his change of fate. I quickly fell for Jonas and Henry. They brought a bright light and hope that we all desperately needed. I could spill all the family drama but it’s best left unsaid. Barbara clearly demonstrates that family isn’t about blood shared or chromosomes in common but it’s the people who embrace your successes and failures and love you no matter what.
Child abuse. Terrorism. Betrayal. The list could go on and on. But I should also warn you that…this is a legendary tale of two boys who grow into men and battle unthinkable demons just to have a future together. Prepare for turmoil and trust, hurt and healing, and limitless love.
Not everyone. But those that choose to embark on their staggering journey will be rewarded greatly.