Unfortunately, eighteen-year-old Nina Sharman has no choice but to call the poverty-stricken neighborhood her new home.
Life for Nina seems bleak until a chance meeting with Conner Hale changes her mind and captures her heart, leading her to believe that maybe Palace Hills wasn't so bad after all.
However, one tragic case of mistaken identity changes everything and leads to an event so horrifying that Nina believes she could never recover.
My Review: “Always remember that sometimes, bad things happen so that even greater things can be born.”Oh, the flood gates opened for this one! Where to even begin? I guess Palace Hills would be a good start. Nina and her family moved there after her big shot father lost his job. Adjusting from the country club to the players club, Nina found herself stuck in the low-income housing projects.
With self-absorbed parents, Nina and her seven-year-old brother, Matthew were on their own. Searching for the silver lining in a horrible situation, Conner Hale, a lifer of Palace Hills makes it his mission to get Nina to see the good in his slummy community. It may not be much, but the projects had taught him the importance of family, something Nina never learned with her parents. That first summer in Palace Hills was the first time Nina fell in love. Despite the awful neighborhood, Conner showed Nina and her little brother what acceptance felt like and they welcomed it with open arms.
But not everyone in the ghetto was as welcoming as Conner Hale and one night, something unforgiveable happens. The books immediately changes from a young adult romance, to a teenager dealing deeply with depression, emotional abuse and self-harm. Without giving too much away, Nina’s life is turned upside down and sets her on an incredibly hard path. I shed a lot of tears reading about her trying to overcome that event.
The ending of story didn’t end with the traditional happily ever after. I mean, sure she was happy, but she didn’t choose the path I wished she had. She didn’t end up with the one I was rallying for, and due to that, it brought up the same bitter sweet feeling I had when I read The Hunger Games. So, I’m left with the reminded words of another readers consolation when describing the end of Katniss Everdeens’s story, “The effects of war destroy everything. Every hope, every dream is tainted by violence. A survivor of such a horrific event loses everything they knew, including their first love. They cannot come back from such a horrific event.” Years later, I now find that explanation comforting me again and understanding Nina’s decision.
An incredible book I will be recommending for years to come!
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