This book came heavily recommended. I loved the cover yet was hesitant to start. Why? This was one hella serious and heavy story. This is not a story to start thinking it will be a light and quick read.
Short recap: Hayley has not had an easy life. For years she has had to live on the road with her father, Andy. All she knows is that she has to take care of him no matter what as he is struggling with PTSD and drug & alcohol addiction. Hayley puts everything else in her life on the backburner because how can she care for herself and her father?
This was not an easy story to get through. It is serious on a very deep level. It talks about self sacrifice, PTSD, drug & alcohol addiction, and family dysfunction. This felt more like a story about Andy and his daily life that Hayley was living in. There were some very tough scenes to get through. His PTSD and addictions were taking over his daily life, which was a bit frustrating to read. I wanted to slap him and scream at him to WAKE UP every time he got lost in himself or was too weak to resist the beer and pills. My heart went out to Hayley as she knew no other life than what she was living. Every single day was a battle because she didn’t know what she would go through with her dad. Was it a good day? Bad day? Would he come out of his room? Would she be left to lie to the few friends they had left?
I read another review where a reader stated the PTSD read like a textbook and watered down version of the condition. She based this on what her family went through during some of the big wars in American history. Sorry, sweetheart, but if you haven’t gone through it yourself, you don’t get to judge. I have diagnosed PTSD and have had it for 15 years now. I life it every day and I can tell you this felt real to me. The triggers, the ups and downs, the flashbacks, the nightmares, the never knowing what mood you might wake up in. Not everyone with this diagnosis wakes up screaming every morning. Everyone’s diagnose is going to be different but in the end, you don’t get to judge if you haven’t been through it yourself. /end rant
All in all, I did enjoy this book but it was tough to get through. Don’t go into this thinking it will be a quick read or that there will be action. Neither of those will happen. There is some romance, there are friendships, there is growth and development, but they will not be on an easy road to get to. I’m glad I read this and thanks for indulging me in my soap box rant up there. It is a very sensitive topic for me and I will always stand my ground when it comes to that.