Helena Conway has fallen in love.
But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful…if he wasn’t dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.
“You are supposed to be with me.”
What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet behind away, waiting in line for our food.
“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”
I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.
“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking everything will change.
“Helena,” he reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet- I pick it up and resurface.
Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.
“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”
“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.
“If this is a joke you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon which is resting between our hands.
“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?
I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.
“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.
“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”
He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of of a cornered animal; frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.
He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.
“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”
“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”
Because he looks so afraid I say it.
“Show me, Kit.” And then- “Should I know what this is?”
“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.
I don’t know how to start this. Or how to word this review. Tarryn makes my heart hurt and makes me question a lot of my feelings. She puts all of herself in her writing and books. But this one…hmm.
Helena has a vivid dream one day. She dreams of Kit and a home and children. She obsesses with this dream every day thereafter, even though there are a lot of obstacles in the way. Friends. Partners. Children.
Let me start with the first half of the book. I didn’t connect to Helena. I didn’t connect to Kit. I felt like some of the thoughts from Helena were bland and the humor was forced. But maybe that’s because I didn’t comprehend how Helena was wired? Or how Kit was wired? I didn’t highlight a lot in the first part. Nothing STUCK. It just didn’t stick with me. Never the less, the second part of the book turned everything around. Helena was a runner. She was unfair to Kit. I didn’t have any forced desires for Kit and Helena to end up together. Kit was was a hard character for me to grasp and cling onto.
The second part I got the hurt. I got the pain. And I got the reasonings. Well, some of them. I got the Tarryn writing I was wanting and begging for in the first part. I still don’t understand the thought process of some of the characters but by the end I was content.
Tarryn has this way with words that make you want to fill a bath tub with them and roll around in it and soak them in. Regardless of how much I liked her story, her words always resonate with me. They are always peaceful and truthful.
This book is no Mud Vein. This book didn’t hit me in the heart and it almost felt forced. The humor. The quirks. The plot. I did laugh. And I did hurt. But my thoughts on this book are nothing like I had hoped.