Welcome to the blog tour for The Darkest Part by Trisha Wolfe! I enjoyed this book, and I hope you do too!
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The Darkest Part by Trisha Wolfe
Book One of the Living Heartwood series
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from the author
Summary (from Goodreads):
Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.
Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?
When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.
On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.
What I Liked:
You all KNOW that I am a fan of Trisha Wolfe, yes? I loved her fantasy novel, Of Silver and Beasts (and I cannot wait for Of Darkness and Crowns). Trisha has a way of creating a beautiful, intricate story, with tough, interesting characters, and a swoony, sweet romance.
But anyway. I was apprehensive about this book, because I usually dislike New Adult contemporary romance novels. They seem like the same story, over and over, right? And yet, somehow, authors are making a ton of money with New Adult contemporary romance stories, even though the stories seem recycled!
But it's Trisha's novel, and I am SO GLAD that I gave this book a chance! I didn't love this book - it wasn't life-changing for me - but I really enjoyed it. This book is definitely a different kind of New Adult contemporary romance. There was a dark, raw edge to this book, and it wasn't about rape or abuse or anything that most NA contemporary romance include.
Sam is suffering, because her boyfriend and fiance died five months ago from a hit-and-run accident. The sad thing is, she's totally seeing his ghost. It's all a figment of her imagination, a product of broken psyche. Everyone thinks she's crazy... and she totally is. Sam is the only one who fervently believes that she isn't insane, that Tyler's ghost is real, and that she can see him and hear him.
Things begin to unravel when Holden, Tyler's brother and Sam's first crush, comes back to town. Sam and Holden are slightly at odds, but they strike up a terse agreement, and agree to go on a roadtrip together (there is so much more to the story than that, but I'm just giving an overview).
Basically, this book is one long roadtrip. Actually, I think it's a week long. But the entire book is the roadtrip involving Sam and Holden. During this time, we get to see how tormented both of them really are. Both of them have so much to handle, in their own ways. Both of them have self-inflicted problems, and both of them are in denial about something.
I didn't LOVE Sam in this book - in fact, I probably disliked her a little. She's a weak person throughout the book, in terms of her personality, and even in the end, she still seems weak. I feel like her character development wasn't all that great. Like, she came to a certain decision at the end... but it didn't feel like she went through the long process and came to that decision. It felt like she just pulled it out of nowhere.
But I really liked Holden. He's not flashed in front of us as the typical New Adult contemporary romance male protagonist. He's hot, yes, and he has a ton of tattoos, but he's not thrust out of the pages, teeming with abs and cocky grins and melty voices and arrogant swaggers. He is complex and twisted in his own way, and not a total alpha male (though there are some alpha male parts of his personality that shined through the story).
The story is kind of slow, and the pacing is slow, but I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the psychological progression of Sam's healing. I really liked the dual points-of-view, but I feel like that's a prerequisite for New Adult contemporary romance novels. I love the perspective that feature adds to the story though!
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I probably won't be re-reading this book a billion times, but I am so happy that I got a chance to read it!
What I Did Not Like:
Well... we all know how I feel about people and their bulls***. In this book, Sam definitely puts out a lotttttttt of bulls***. She's crazy in the worst way possible, after Tyler's death. I totally understand that there are psychological ramifications to a traumatizing event such as death, but I have zero tolerance for bulls***.
And Sam has a lot of problems. And bulls***. And I got irritated with her a lot. But I understand and can empathize. That made this book easier to read.
I feel like the characters in this book don't communicate very well, until the very end. This is a problem with most New Adult contemporary romance books though. The guy and the girl never really explain how they feel, until the very end of the book. I can see why this appeals to authors - it shows growth in the characters - but at the same time, so many books feature characters that don't communicate well. I mean, not EVERYONE has a hard time expressing s***.
Would I Recommend It:
This is a good read! I would recommend to New Adult contemporary romance lovers, but also to people who like a book with a solid romance and heartbreaking plot. This book isn't all about what one would think about, when referring to an NA contemporary romance novel. So, there are so many audiences for this book!
3.5 stars -> rounded down to 3 stars. This is definitely NOT your typical New Adult contemporary romance novel!
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About the Author:
I’m the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), ASTARTE'S WRATH NA Historical/Supernatural, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.
I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies.
A proud business owner, I'm partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.
1 signed print copy of The Darkest Part (US)
1 ebook (ePub or Mobi) copy of The Darkest Part (INT)