When I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare. But my freedom came with a cost. I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the facade that was Andra Walker. I was content with my simple little life. Until I met Julian. And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me.
If you’re going into this book thinking that it’ll be full of twists and turns, put the book down now. If you’re looking for a romance, you’re in the right place!
The first few pages had me hooked. It starts off with our main character, Cora (soon to be Andra) escaping her rapist uncle. Interested? I sure was. Especially with that title, it’s got to be good! Except, that’s all he really does. There are a few flashbacks, but nothing that furthers the plot. Once Cora becomes Andra, she’s moved on. Her whole focus is on this new guy she meets, Julian. She talks about being emotionally traumatised by The Monster, but it’s only words. It’s never explored, she seems to live a perfectly happy, healthy life. The book takes a completely new direction – not a bad one, just not what I felt like I was promised.
If we’re looking at this like the romance it really is, it’s actually pretty good. Julian is so sweet, and the banter between these two is adorable. His dates are incredibly creative. On the second one, they went camping for the night. Plus, there was the looming deadline of our resident writer leaving the ranch and going home, which made the love between them even sweeter. She mostly just wanted to sleep with him, but he was looking for an actual relationship, and was willing to fight for it. Which was a cool reversal from so many other books! But adds to my confusion about her moving on – surely a rape victim would avoid sex? She sleeps with any and every guy she meets, apparently. Maybe I’m wrong, but doesn’t that seem weird to you?
If this was written as a romance, I would be in love. But it was written as a suspenseful abuse-focused book, which it wasn’t at all. I’m really disappointed!