Breaking Nova - Jessica Sorensen (2013)

Nova Reed and Quinton Carter have both suffered enormous tragedy in their young lives. Struggling to come to terms with the pasts they once had and the futures they once planned, they get sucked into toxic friendships, unhealthy patterns and bad decisions. When they find each other, it seems that there may be some hope but they need to help themselves before they can help each other. From its gripping, stunning prologue, Sorensen sets the benchmark for this novel and never falters. Gritty, intense and authentic, she offers a portrayal of life after tragedy, the way death and suicide affect those left behind and the difficulties of coping with loss. On top of that, she gives not one love story but three, all of which are passionate, credible and broken. And I loved the fact that Nova's back story - and her romance with Landon - felt as vibrant and dominant, if not more so, than the present storyline. Indeed, for me the Landon subplot was the real magic of this novel. Another great feature of the book was that, perhaps surprisingly, everything doesn't get resolved, in fact a lot doesn't even begin to be resolved and it feels much more authentic - true to the characters, the enormity of their pasts and the reality of their situations. Jessica Sorensen truly excels in what is, for me, her best novel yet. (JC)

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