I'm pretty new to Suku Fleet's books. I've read one other one and have been meaning to read more ever since. I'm glad I chose this as my second read of hers because it's the type of book I normally read. Sad and heavy at times, with some sweet moments and some steam.
I love the writing. Suki Fleet's writing is beautiful and always sucks me in. This book is in first person present tense, which I know will put some people off. But if that doesn't bother you and you like deeper books, then I would definitely recommend taking a chance on this.
Josh, our MC, was a little hard to like in the beginning. He grew on me over the course of the book. I ended up loving him. Josh is a survivor. He survived crippling mental illness that left him unable to cope with day to day life. It led him to multiple attempts to end it all, until he finally got the help he needed. But even after getting that help, he wasn't fully there.
Angus won me over almost immediately. He was such a sweet guy and I really liked his personality. He had his struggles, too, but was genuinely a really sweet person.
I loved the two of them together, when Josh finally gave in and admitted he liked Angus. Seeing their relationship develop filled me with hope.
I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author. I think I'm onto a new favourite of mine!
Everything I love in Suki is here. Another great “cachito” of hers.
When I first began this book, it was off to me. I believed this would come to a terribly unhappy ending, with Sam being sick and walking alongside Death until the very moment when he would join her forever.
Then I felt this was going nowhere, that Xavi’s actions were an undeniable proof that this love story was never meant to happen. That there never was a “they” so “they” would never exist.
But somehow there is this turn of events and this book touched my inner core in such a way that I cannot grasp entirely.
It’s a “typical” Suki Fleet story. There is everything I love in her: very young hopeless social outcasts, disabilities, hospital scenes, pandora-boxes secrets that are revealed very late into the story. And pure angst. And true love.
Which means that I should have already had time to get used to her, that I should have been expecting this treacherous blow. It was a proper sucker punch, and I was not prepared for it.
At first I didn’t think it was possible. At first I couldn’t see it happening. At first I was this trusting young girl who was led into a magical world where in truth nothing is otherworldly.
Until it was.
I’ve not known Suki for that long. I read the first book a year and a half ago. But somehow, I’ve grown up with her. Somehow, I’ve learnt to see misfits under a different light, I’ve learnt to see under the surface. The sensibility she shows in every book of hers is addictive of a kind. And the study of character is so inspiring and beautiful I’ve fallen under her spell a way too often.
This time, it was the other way around, I’ve remembered things from my past and seen them written here. Being shaped into words. Seeing them in the inked form like this has done something deep inside me. It’s not that any of this has happened to me on any personal level, but Suki made it feel that way. Made it feel personal.
The hospital is the turning point in the story. Or, better said, it was that so-close-to-the-end-of-life situation which changed everything for me. Since that moment on, I was so invested in the characters I felt every emotion of theirs in my very bones.
The thrilling brutal feeling of loneliness, of despair, of apprehension. The maze of shadowed corridors, the cheap curtains, the need to get onto the bed and hug that person you hold dear behind the nurses’ watchful eyes and everybody else’s backs.
The scene in the shower.
The flashbacks in the commune and OMG I hate flashbacks but here I drank them all as if they were all the water left in the desert. The red book in a foreign language. The dead bird. The tiny rabbits. The longing glances and the misguided regrets. The terrible past mistakes. The rejection and the denial. The self-inflicted pain. The defeat and the sense that there is no alternative possible. That there is no way out.
And the omelette being turned upside-down. And the sense that now, everything is possible. That there are oh-so-many doors to be opened. I just wasn’t paying attention.
And that “they” that indeed exists.
My Physics teacher was close to be a victim in a car accident. He said he imagined his body flying through the front glass and began making calculations in his head. The velocity, the kinetic energy turning into potential energy, taking into consideration the various forms of friction which would change the trajectory of his body.
I have mostly forgotten maths at this stage of my life.
But I keep thinking in other ways that aren’t exactly meant to be.
But they are there.
The non-said scenes.
Like the doctor looking at you in the eyes and saying “dialysis 3 times a week 4 hours each until there is a kidney available”. Going to that room full of sofas (or beds for those unable to sit) and connecting your measured “blood cleaner” tin directly to your vein-artery fistula. Young people usually choose the peritoneal dialysis, which gives an independency of sorts. Because spending so much time napping surrounded by strangers whose faces begin to seem familiar after a week or two is not something you really are looking forward to.
It’s not random it’s 3 times a week. It’s just the minimum of times you need your blood cleaned in order to function properly. It would be ideal going everyday. But nobody can bear that rhythm. Normally it’s a routine of Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Or a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday if you don’t really care about wasting your weekend in the hospital.
Weekends are the worst, it’s a three-day skip instead of two. It’s when people break their diet (I met a nutritionist who was so badass he liked to ring his patients on Saturdays). There are more incidents on Sundays. People die on Sundays.
And Mondays usually mean a “penalty” of an extra hour with your blood circulating out of your body. Because you overstepped in that party with your friends, or you drank/ate something you weren’t supposed to ingest.
Depression is not unusual. Not because of this unforgiving routine, but also because your blood quality is not exactly the best.
At this stage everybody dreams with a kidney that is not theirs. And all the meds that that entails. In my country, the length of time spent in the waiting list is between 6 months and 6 years, the average being 2 years. And I’m talking about one of the global leaders in organ transplants.
It’s something I wish upon nobody on Earth. Just imagining this to happen to Sam makes my heart wrench. Just imagining this to happen to Xavi makes my heart wrench. Yes, I know life is not fair generally speaking, but they are so young, so full of possibilities, that the simple idea infuriates me to no end.
I loved the random-but-not-so-random display of kindness. They gave me hope. When a total stranger helps you because she knows someone helps her loved ones in a faraway place. When the unconditional love from the parents who had missed their son and couldn’t find a way to “find” him, to make him come back, envelops around the characters like a warm blanket. When Xavi didn’t resign himself to let Sam go, not when he leaves him behind, not when he comes to say goodbye, not when his flame is so close to be extinguished.
It’s a kind of magic. Having a meh book in your hands and suddenly, the Midas touch turning it into gold. Because this book really shines, with a light that gets stronger and stronger, and you can only think about holding it and listen to it crackle into the infinite.
It hurts but it heals.
This story is a Phoenix. Everything is doomed before starting. Everything is hopeless. The Phoenix dies. And the flame reawakens full force. This cleansing fire is so real it was close to be a lifelong experience.
Thank you for writing, Suki.
Tag Review with Lorix!
***Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***
"In a bind that I can’t bend. No sleep for days on end, cause things went so badly. Words I wish I didn’t say. My brain got in the way and I am truly sorry. I want to take it back, undo what’s been done... I hope that you’ll forgive me. Maybe somewhat wiser now with my mistakes abound. Oh, I have loved you badly.” ~ Melanie Dekker
When Xavi left Sam behind five years ago, without being able to admit it, he also left behind a piece of his heart. It's just another of many mistakes and bad choices he's made in his life. Xavi gives his parents’ phone number in case Sam everneeds him, but is surprised when Sam turns up where Xavi works with a declaration and a request. Sam is dying and he wants Xavi to be with him when he does.
Xavi is overwhelmed but, whether through obligation or strong denial of his feelings, he tries his best to fulfill Sam's last request. Xavi and Sam travel aimlessly, looking for just the right spot; a field of flowers by the ocean for Sam's last resting place.
Xavi reflects on his time with Sam, painfully remembering his overwhelming desire for him along with the pain he has caused both of them in his ultimate rejection. In the past, love has meant nothing but pain; Xavi no longer believes it's possible to be in love without enduring the agony that may accompany it. Instead of responding to his intense feelings to be with Sam, he denies them and literally and figuratively speaking, runs from them, abandoning Sam to a life of loneliness and pain. Because of his hesitation to accept how he feels, Xavi is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Xavi senses how much love Sam needs and he's terrified that he can't live up to his expectations. Instead of sorting out his feelings, forgiving himself for his inadequacies, and moving forward, he does what he's always done - he runs from them.
This is a profound, beautifully written story that often brought me to tears. Suki twisted the emotion out of me as she clearly demonstrated Xavi's predicament. She also made me want to smack Xavi for his inability to see what was right in front of him! Sam had my heart aching with his desperate last attempt to be with the man he loves, even though he had been rejected by him. Sam was resolved that he was going to die and almost welcomed it since he had nothing to live for. Sam wanted Xavi to be with him to share one of the most intimate times of his life. The fact that Xavi so readily agreed to go with him should have been a big flag, telling Xavi how much Sam meant to him; but it took seeing that he was loosing Sam forever to shake him up enough to see that they were both out of time and it was now or never.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper story with more to it than a simple romance, reminding us of the fragility of life, the importance of forgiveness, and the sanctity of love. Thanks, Suki. You took my breath away.
I really liked this!
Suki Fleet is one of those authors I noticed around for a while, but never really got around to reading her bools. So I decided I was going to try something of hers and a friend suggested this would be the best place to start.
She was right.
This short was exactly what I needed to read right now. It worked for me in the moment and has left me with a hopeful smile on my face.
The book only spans a couple of days. But those two days are all it took for me to invest in Ally and Levi's story. It has left me wanting more. Much more. I'll be eagerly awaiting more of their story and I'm excited to see where they go.
Oh, and I really want Rob to suffer the consequences of his actions.
Te quiero might be the first book I've read from this author, but I promise it won't be my last.