Kate Mosley is a seventeen year old girl with an abusive mother, an alcoholic father and she is bullied at school by practically the whole student body. She has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Her mother has almost killed her several times and Kate further sinks into depression as she believes there is no one in the world who can help her.
Henry Jamison has returned to town after being absent for several years. His family and he used to live in the area when he was younger and he and Kate had become friends. When Henry left town, Kate was devastated. However, he is back now and his interest in Kate has never changed.
At first, Kate is leary of Henry's attention. She is always waiting for him to lead her on so that he and the rest of the school can make fun and laugh at her. With much persistence Henry finally breaks through Kate's reserve and the two begin a loving friendship.
Kate has many skeletons in her closet and will not disclose any information to Henry about the abuse she suffers. Henry has managed to turn the school's opinion of her around, but he is unaware of her home life, that is, until the day she ends up bleeding, broken and lying in a snow bank outside his family's home. Not wishing to alert the police, Henry's family takes Kate in and nurses her broken body for the next three weeks. In that time, she has become an endearing addition to this loving family and Kate wishes never to have to return home.
Kate's mother is feeling guilty about her actions and allows Kate to travel over the Christmas vacation with Henry and his family. Upon her return, her mother has forgotten Kate's whereabouts and begins to beat Kate into unconsciousness. When a series of events take place, Katie is scared and begins to push Henry away. Henry proposes marriage, and Kate proposes to end their relationship. Kate must now survive the future without Henry and his love, will she have the courage to do so or will her heart always be broken. Only Kate can decide and while she and Henry drift apart, she begins to get her life on track and take actions for her own self.
For a YA romance I have to say this is a pretty decent read. Author Cindy Bennett certainly knows how to draw emotions from the reader and if you happen to cry when you read, then expect to do a lot of that as you read this. Kate is written with such raw and honest emotion that the reader is unable to control the floodwork of tears that are sure to ensue.
Kate and her back story are heartfelt as you ache for her life situation, the fact that her mother treats her so poorly leaves you feeling for the character and the pain she has to endure. Kate's father drifts in and out of her life often in a drunken stupor, he never champions for his child even though he is aware subconsciously the attacks are occurring. You cannot help but loathe his attitude and when he finally figures out his mistakes, and begins to make amends, his character resolve changes and you find yourself feeling for his plight also.
Henry is a bit unbelievable, his sensitivity and strength of character while commendable are just not seen that often in seventeen year old boys. His maturity and wisdom were beyond someone his age and I had difficulty with his "perfectness". As well, his family and their loving and accepting ways were a bit over board as well. Unless you're the Brady Bunch, families just don't behave that way. I would've liked to have seen a bit more realism in their household also. I did love the grandfather, his character was solid and believable.
I also thought the break up was a bit under dramatic, I really cannot believe that all that Henry had done to this point to ensure his love for Kate, he would just walk away because she told him to. There was a scene in the school cafeteria that I thought would happen later on in the book which wasn't completed. Henry stood up to the school bully on behalf of Kate and I had a feeling from the dialogue we would see more of this interaction, however, the bully just drifted into the background scenery, never to be heard from again.
However, if you put that all aside, the book is a very enjoyable read. As I stated previously, it will make you cry on several occasions and the outcome of the situations played well together.
17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns. Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him. Kate can't figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her? Kate finally decides to trust Henry's intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **