“I knew I wanted to try. She was grieving and broken and it would almost definitely end in one or both of us getting destroyed. But somethings were worth fighting for, right?”
This book is very special to me, I ADORE IT TO NO END. It’s a very weird book, I won’t lie about that, but it has such a realness to it, that it makes it to amazing! I remember the first time reading it and I was just BLOWN AWAY at how well the author managed to bring everything together! This definitely deserves it’s spot as on of my favorite contemporaries! BUT this was my second reread of this book and I think I enjoyed more this time than I did last time, man, it is just so weird but amazing at the same time. When I read it for the first time last year, it automatically became the best contemporary of 2016 (which it still is.) I was so impressed with the way that the story was told, and was also surprised that it doesn’t end like you would expect it to end. IT’S A REALISTIC CONTEMPORARY, which like never happens, ever.
ANYWAYS, on with this everywhere review ahaha.
Our story starts off with gangly teenager, Henry Page. His mind isn’t wrapped around trying to get the next girl in high school, or what his life will be like without a girlfriend. He’s always focused on school, his family, and his best friends (thank the Lord for characters like this.) But then comes in Grace Town, a strangely looking girl, who is described to be a recovering heroine addict. She isn’t attractive in no way, shape, or form, yet of course he is attracted to her. (Okay yeah that part is really cliche, but it does take him awhile to see that so it isn’t a love at first sight story.) But Grace Town has a lot of her own problems in life. She is a senior transfer, which makes it very difficult to fit in and also, she kind of dresses like a hobo so that could be why it’s hard to fit in as well LOL. And Henry and Grace start to form a relationship over their jobs as Editor for the school newspaper. BUT IT’S A CRAZY WEIRD RELATIONSHIP AND I LOVE IT. Grace is so dark and morbid at times and she starts to open up to Henry and you see her dark past, and it’s emotional and wow this book is great. JUST READ IT PLEASE.
The characters in this story are absolutely amazing. They aren’t these super fake teenagers who hate each other one moment and then love each other the next, like it seems to happen in a lot of contemporaries. They have a great best friend bond with each other (Henry, Lola, and Murray.) They are very well developed humans, with great backstories and amazing personalities. I would read a sequel of this book even if there was no conflict, just because I love these characters so much. Also, this book is amazing to find out about Grace and how she deals with her PTSD (hooray for reps.) AGAIN, JUST READ IT PLEASE.
The Ending (Spoilers, Obviously) :
This ending is just WOW. You find out that Grace was supposed to marry her ex boyfriend that died, and that’s why she was so traumatized. And I LOVE THAT THEY DON’T END UP TOGETHER. They part their separate ways, and leave each other alone. They realize that they aren’t what the other one needs in their lives AND THEY MOVE ON. I love that it ending like this because in so many contemps, the main love interests always end up together even if they shouldn’t. BUT also, the ending is really emotional, because you feel really bad for Grace and all that she’s been through. And Henry also really has a great character development from seeing that love isn’t everything in the world, and that there are so many people in the world and your first probably won’t be your forever. Hooray for real life people in books (that doesn’t even make sense but you get what I mean LOLOL)
( pg. 9 ) “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”
( pg. 62 ) “When I look up into the night sky, I remember that I’m nothing but the ashes of long-dead stars. A human being is a collection of atoms that comes together into an ordered pattern for a brief period of time and then falls apart again. I find comfort in my smallness.”
( pg. 66 ) “I have never met anyone that
I wanted in my life that way before.
I could make an exception for you.”
( pg. 84 ) “We were characters out of a movie. We were thoroughly alive. And we were absolutely beautiful.”
( pg. 100 ) “I never realized that you could fall in love with humans the same way you fall in love with songs. How the tune of them could mean nothing to you at first, an unfamiliar melody, but quickly turn into a symphony carved across your skin; a hymn in the web of your veins; a harmony stitched into the lining of your soul.”
( pg. 113 ) “Grace Town, if people really were assembled from pieces of the universe, her soul was made of stardust and chaos.”
( pg. 145 ) “I somehow knew, in that moment, that Grace Town was a jagged piece of glass that I’d cut myself on again and again if I let myself get involved with her. That the way forward would be pockmarked by sadness and grief and jealousy.”
( pg. 171 ) “They do it because they believe that some things are more beautiful when they’ve been broken.”
( pg. 210 ) “It was you who taught me that oblivion is our reward for being human, that the very fabric of reality itself is kind enough to ensure that all our sins and silliness will be stripped away.”
( pg. 222 ) “You’re worth nothing less than stardust, but all I can give you is dirt.”
( pg. 247 ) “She was set alight, shining, the stars that died to give her all the atoms that made her glowing from beyond the grave. I’d never seen anything so excruciatingly, heart-breakingly beautiful.”
( pg. 274 ) “I wish you could see the world the way I see the world. See that death is the reward for having lived.”
( pg. 289 ) “Love doesn’t need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can’t judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own. The greatest love story every told doesn’t have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don’t mourn a failed love; there’s no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”
( pg. 309 ) “Grace Town was a chemical explosion inside my heart. She was a star that’d gone supernova For a few fleeting moments there was light and heat and pain, brighter than any galaxy, and in her wake she left nothing but darkness. But the death of stars provides the building blocks of life. We’re all made of star stuff. We’re all made of Grace Town.”
I honestly cannot express to y’all how much I love this book. AND DOES THIS REVIEW MAKE ANY SENSE?? It’s so hard to review my faves because I feel like I ramble on about how much I love this one! ALSO, I’ll never forget the one time I posted about this book on bookstagram, and the author responded on my picture saying that I was super kind, so there’s always that to make me love this book more LOL!