Synopsis: His whole life Carter’s fought to hold it together: To help Mom run their store. To be there for his special needs sister, Sara, and be the perfect boyfriend Mel wants. To dominate on the basketball court—the only place he ever feels free. And to carry Mom up the stairs when she’s too smashed to make it on her own.
It isn’t like she has a problem. Mom loves them. If she doesn’t drink every day, she’s not really an alcoholic, right?
Then Kira Dawson, a girl with a bipolar wardrobe and rotating hairstyles comes to town. Somehow, she sees the truths he hides from the world. “You have skeletons, too, Carter Shaw. Don’t think I don’t know it.” For the first time, he wants someone to see his inner scars—to really know him.
When his mom finally goes too far, will Carter be able to man-up, even if it means turning his back on her and stepping out from behind the façade he’s fought so hard to keep in place?
Carter Shaw is good at hiding himself. His mother is an alcoholic and Carter constantly is helping her and hiding it in the process. He watches out for this younger sister Sara. He dates Mel because he can, because she makes him feel more normal than ever. Carter also owns the basketball court… what he’s good at, his release. Then Kira Dawson enters his life and she makes him question his decisions. Makes him question his choices and what he’s worked so hard to hide. It’s not one-sided though. Kira wants to know who she is and Carter just may be the person to help her.
I really enjoy how Nyrae can take issues and turn them into beautiful stories. We’ve all been there where we do things just to feel normal. Where we do things we may not really want to just to fit in. Where we hide things that we don’t want people to see. And most of the time all it ends up doing is hurting ourselves. Carter is that guy in this story. He’s good-looking, popular, a guy everyone loves. Yet behind those smiles is a boy with a hidden home world. I loved how much Carter looked out for his family, only a person with a heart like Carter’s would take on so much. Watching him meet Kira and finally start to crack made me love him even more. He’s strong and he makes the decisions that have to made, not always the ones that he wanted to make. And, I admired him for it.
The issues in this book are written so well. It centers around alcoholism and figuring out who you are. Yet, Nyrae doesn’t make the alcoholism freighting… she puts a loving face on it. A face you would never want to believe has gone too far. It was different than the drunks you normally imagine and that made me love this book so much more because alcoholism hits home with me. Overall, this book was a fantastic read and if you’re thinking about reading it… definitely give it a shot.