- Publisher: Entangled Teen
- Publication date: 1/7/2014
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?
Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.
When I first read the synopsis, I was a bit curious as to how someone could just let some random stranger live in their garage. Once I started reading, I kind of understood. Not completely, but enough that it wasn't super far fetched. I know that I wouldn't be able to do that, but that's besides the point. I can see why Hanley does. This was a slow book, but it was good. I thought the romance was a bit insta-lovey, but not totally unbelievable. Above all it was a great story about kindness, helping people, and seeing past what is on the outside.
Hanley is not a typical girl. She is self destructive, lost and lonely, and needs to lose herself to get through each day. She sees something in Nate and feels like she needs to help him.Not at first though. Like normal person, she is a bit freaked out by some stranger in her garage. She soon learns that he is not a threat, though she doesn't quite believe he might not be dangerous. By chance, and super cold temperatures, she feels guilty and finds him to tell him that if he needs somewhere to stay he can come back. That shows the compassion that she has. Soon she starts to really enjoy his company. He sees the real her, not the girl who she pretends to be for everyone else. She wants to know him and what he is running from. I did think at times she was a bit dumb, but I could see why she did the things that she did. She is a character that I really respected, and though was pretty realistic.
Nate is a mystery for a while. He seems like a regular guy and not someone who would be seen as dangerous. He is really nice, he helps Hanley when she needs it, and he never pushes. When she tells him to leave, he does. He's respectful and polite, and seems like he has his head on straight, but just had something happen that he needed to escape from. As we get to know him more, his story was a bit more obvious, but I really liked him more and more as the book went on. Like Hanley, I felt horrible for what he was going through and wanted to help him. He is a strong person who didn't know what to do. He not only needed shelter, he needed someone to trust him and believe in him.
The romance was quick, but it wasn't unrealistic. Hanley is someone totally different on the outside than she is inside. She hasn't been the real Hanley for years. Nate is the only one who she lets see who she is. Who she hides from everyone else. They find that they both have something in common. They are both running from their past. His recently, and hers for years. They need someone to just be there for them and care. They find that in each other. I do love that Hanley doesn't give up on him, and it even gives her the courage to just be her. They really do need each other. I do think that the love part came a bit too quickly, but I could almost feel the way the felt for each other leaping off of the pages.
This was a book that I was a bit nervous going into. I was afraid that it would be so beyond reality that it would come across as cheesy to me. I am so glad that wasn't the case. I loved the characters, and how they grew throughout the book. Not just Hanley and Nate, but the secondary characters too. I didn't particularly care for Hanley's parents much, but I suppose they had a lot to deal with. Hanley wasn't the easiest person to handle. The ending was too tidy for me, but that's just a minor thing. This book is a fast read that I think that contemporary lovers will enjoy.
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.