Honesty.

28533682

“Maybe we weren’t meant to cuddle. Maybe we were meant to explode.”

As a closeted teenager in the Deep South with a holy-roller father and the scars to prove it, bookworm Cole Furman has resigned himself to experiencing life and love only within the pages of his favourite novels. But after Nick Flores seems to walk off a page and starts to rewrite his story, Cole finds his dreams spinning into a dazzling – and complicated – reality.

If you ever found yourself on the wild breathless thriller ride that is first love, Honesty will rip you back again in screaming colour.

Screen shot 2016-04-04 at 10.18.15 PM

{ Note: I received this book in eBook form as an ARC from the author. This, in no way, has impacted my reading experience or my review. xoxo }

I want to talk about Firsts.

Not the ones that carry us from infant to toddler to child to teenager and so forth. Not the milestones that one living in a big, modern city reaches in due time, like getting your driver’s license or graduating from high school.

I want to talk about the First Time You Feel Like You’ve Been Anchored To This World. That defining moment for me came in the form of a person, my love of twelve years. I was fifteen, floating nonchalantly …and then he stepped into that subway station and into my life, and I was forever changed.

A love like that triggers something hidden deep within the crevices of your soul, guiding a luminescent light out to permeate your skin. He was the first First to unleash an overabundance of love from me and it wasn’t until I met him that my Bucket List of Firsts came to be.

For me, my Bucket List of Firsts had its own subcategory that orbited around a lifelong devotion for the written word. First time stepping into a newly discovered bookstore and finding that little nook that becomes known as My Spot, where time will pass in increments of a hundred pages. Fist time that the first sentence in a book has enough pull and power to give me that intuitive sense of an all-nighter coming on. First time I leap and take a chance on an author I wasn’t previously acquainted with and upon coming up for air, realize I’ve fallen head over heels. First time I’d turn the last page and casually flip through the book to see the margins filled with my thoughts, and it becomes abundantly clear that a piece of my heart lives within its covers. First time I’d see someone on public transit engrossed in a book that took my breath away and before I know it, my feet are moving of their own accord, and I step into a stranger’s world as a plethora of all the thoughts bubbling away about said book leave my lips. First time I cannot physically pass a book on a shelf without touching it with my fingertips, remembering its magic run through me with the tiniest of contact. First book signing and seeing so many more lined up up in my future. First auto-buy author.

I checked all those off by the time I turned 20 but there was one that remained, waiting patiently for its turn.

I’d never received an Advanced Readers Copy; never gotten that tap on the shoulder to join the elite secret society of those who’d get their hands on something amazing ahead of the rest of the world.

And then Seth King started following my Instagram account. I scrolled through his pictures and when I saw that he was offering ARCs of his upcoming book, I nervously emailed him, hopeful that I’d cross that dormant item off my list.

Before I knew it, I was staring at the cover on my eReader and I immediately vowed to get started as soon as my kids were in bed. But then I got worried. Worried that this First would be a disappointing one, like biting into a delicious looking pie to find it had a hollow center.

I laugh at the absurdity of that moment now.

The opening quote? I hadn’t even completed it and I was already highlighting it.

The second page? I already knew I was about to read something special.

I bookmarked 70 pages.

I’m someone who reads with a notebook never too far from reach, lest I come across a line that raises goosebumps on my arms, a line I know I’m coming back to someday. I could not do that with “Honesty” because I may as well have copied out the first word to the last.

There are bits and pieces that jump out at you from every book you read (if you’re lucky). With “Honesty”, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite so poetic, certainly not sentence after sentence for an entire book. I found that I read slowly, carefully, savouring each word.

There’s Cole, who after years of shielding the truths of his heart, meets someone who makes him want to shout from the rooftops, someone worth the risk of his father’s – and not to mention, the world’s – wrath, someone whose life wraps tightly around his. Nicky is still struggling with who he is and the foreseeable consequences that await him should he let down his guard and show a little honesty. One step forward, two steps back. Over and over and over. And yet …and yet Cole always sees him when he’s trying desperately to remain invisible.

That’s it. That’s all I’m permitting you. It’s also why you won’t find a Quotes section at the bottom of this review – you’d be reading the entire book. I entered this story blind. I actually read a quote from “Honesty” on Seth’s Instagram and it reeled me in like a willing fish to the hooked worm.

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 1.00.36 AM

I began to read and was surprised to find that the quote was tweaked; there was no “she” to be found. But I was already in too deep and I continued to fall …and I may be wrong but maybe that was the intention all along. Maybe it was the author’s way of surprising readers but it saddens me to ponder over the possibility that the marketing process included having to withhold vital plot information to keep readers interested. It saddens me to know that we still live in a world where one Cole and one Nicky cannot truly live. Not reading this book would be a disservice to the evolution of what we as a people could be.

How have we continued to live this long without this book? Seth King, you were made to write this book. Your heart, your soul, your blood, your sweat, your tears …all went into the birth and beauty of this masterpiece. I don’t even know you and I’m so proud of you. All those Firsts up there?

First time that the first sentence in a book has enough pull and power to give me that intuitive sense of an all-nighter coming on. Check.

First time I leap and take a chance on an author I wasn’t previously acquainted with and upon coming up for air, realize I’ve fallen head over heels. Check.

First time I’d turn the last page and casually flip through the book to see the margins filled with my thoughts, and it becomes abundantly clear that piece of my heart lives within its covers. Check.

My sons are only 10 and 5 but I already can’t wait to share this book with them when they get older.

I bow down to you, I thank you, and if I could hug the seventh-grader you, I would squeeze him tightly and tell him he’s going to grow up to be an important man.

Screen shot 2016-04-04 at 10.17.59 PM

Screen shot 2016-04-01 at 11.04.23 PM


screen-shot-2016-04-04-at-10-56-54-pm
{ Note: Teaser theme song was included with original review. Additional playlist was added after book’s release date. }

1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
2. Chasing Pavements – Adele
3. You And Me – Lifehouse
4. Kiss Me Slowly – Parachute
5. Hanging By A Moment – Lifehouse
6. Beautiful Disaster – Kelly Clarkson
7. Dare You To Move – Switchfoot
8. Say Something – A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
9. This Step Alone – Elliott Yamin
10. Apologize – One Republic
11. I Never Told You – Colbie Caillat
12. When You’re Gone – Avril Lavigne
13. Jealous – Labrinth
14. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The Script
15. My Immortal – Evanescence

THEME SONG -> CHASING CARS – SNOW PATROL

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s