Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.
Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.
Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.
Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.
My heart hurts.
My brain hurts.
This book HURTS!
Did I love it? No. Wait! Some parts were so so good, I loved them.
Did I hate it? No. Wait! Some parts were so so hard, I hated them.
I’m exhausted. I’m relieved. I’m clinging to every bit of happiness that was finally delivered. I can tell you one thing, I will never ever forget this book!
Things kick off early when the boys are in elementary school. Seth and Matty are neighbors, besties, and have a tag-along everywhere they go. Kelly is a year younger than Matty and has rockstar eyes for Seth. When they are given the opportunity to participate in an orchestra program at school, something shifts in Seth. He’s a good kid that has been dealt a shitty hand. Not only did he lose his mother but his father fell into a pit of despair afterward and he can’t seem to stop the slippery slope he’s sliding on. Depression leads to drinking and drinking leads to neglect and abuse. I wanted to jump in and save Seth. Luckily, he has the Cruz family and they do it for me. This isn’t the last time someone needs rescuing. Actually, we crash from one danger to another and everyone gets their turn to wear the savior cape. Hence my exhaustion. My body was tense, my jaw clenched, my breath tight from the beginning to the end. This book is definitely not for the seeker of fluff and sugar. And it spans a loonnnng stretch of time, like sixteen years. Lots of ‘stuff’ and lots of change occurs during this decade and a half. Was it a worthy ride? Yeah. It really was.
Seth and Kelly. Or Kelly and Seth. There are times that one led the other. Then there are times that one carried the other. And finally, a time when they moved together as one. But no matter what, I adored both of them. Kelly knew he loved Seth with his whole heart early on. However, Seth lived with his head in the clouds and didn’t always see things that were right in front of his face. He eventually caught up. He knew Kelly was important to him and he would do anything for him, but cupid’s arrow took a roundabout way before it hit him. Just as they began to explore this exhilarating new aspect of their relationship, tragedy strikes. Kelly was brutally attacked and Seth ruthlessly snapped. If the turbulence was bad before, well, it’s merciless now. This isn’t one of the parts that I loved but what I did love was how they held fast and endured every storm. “Do you need me to walk away?” This was their code to each other. A silent agreement to give the other space if things become too much. Each and every time they were uttered, my lungs froze. I was scared for them. I ached for them. I was thrilled for them. This story is an emotional whirlwind. Despite my sore heart, I’m so very grateful that I had the chance to ride along on this memorable journey. Ultimately, this story is about love; first love, powerful love, and boundless love. But it’s also about forgiveness, perseverance, and family. And the ending was everything I hoped for and more.
If you name a trigger, I bet this book has it. If you don’t want your heart pulverized, you should probably move along. If you aren’t prepared for a dozen lifetimes of emotional upheaval packed into 16 years, yep, you called it, you should move along.
A dedicated angst junkie willing to take a leap of faith, trusting Lane to make sure it’s all going to be okay.