Cole Porter knows his home life isn’t ideal, but when a situation arises and he’s forced to pack up and move on, he realizes it’s better to be in a position where you understand the ins and outs rather than to be tossed into the unknown.
Emory Montgomery is as close to perfect as she can possibly be—good grades, beautiful, poised, popular—but having it all isn’t always enough. Perfect has its drawbacks, and even the most flawless people crack under its pressure.
There are people who come into our lives for a reason, when everything else is shattered, burned, and bruised. Sometimes their purpose is clear, but often the smoke and the brokenness conceal the light.
(Young Adult, but some might deem it to be MATURE Young Adult due to themes within the novel.)
“We’re the damned. We’re damned if we do talk about the things we’ve been through, the things we’ve done to ourselves, and damned if we don’t. There is no in between, no right or wrong. It just is."
“At least we can be damned together.”
To the average person it would appear that Emory's life is perfect and that is how her mother intends for it to be. No matter what - everything must appear perfect. But inside the four walls of their home - life is far from perfect. In her quest to please everyone, especially her mother, Emory finds herself spiraling downward in the grips of an eating disorder, thinking that at least in this aspect of her life, she can control at least one thing. The thing about an eating disorder though is that soon it will control her.
"I realized I had failed. In my struggle to be the best, the prettiest, the thinnest, the smartest, and to cause everyone in my family the least amount of worry, I had slipped up along the way and failed."
Things are quit the opposite with Cole's life though. His mother frankly does not give a crap about her family or appearances. All she cares about is men, drugs and liquor. Cole's way of escaping is by harming himself, either by cutting or burning his skin. This is his way to dull all of the emotional garbage he doesn't want to feel.
"As I watched the droplets bead across the cut, the sensation of being alive hit me. Truly alive. I was no longer drowning, suffocating, in a sea of turmoil and uncontrollable emotions. I was in control, happy, confident, and proud that I held such power over myself. I was free."
When Cole is forced to move in with his sister, that is when he meets the girl next door who just happens to be Emory. The two of them hit if off perfectly, but one thing stands in their way - Emory's mother. For you see, Cole does not fit into the perfect plan she has for her daughter and forbids Emory from talking to him. But Emory being a young teenage girl does what you might expect - she defies her mother's wishes and continues to see Cole.
"He was everything I wasn’t— rebellious and wild, indifferent about everything, and completely unique."
Two broken kids drawn together - although from two different sides of the social spectrum - helping each other through their pain and in the process find love and acceptance within each other.
"We had drifted toward each other as if pulled by an invisible magnetic strength I couldn’t figure out, but I was utterly thankful for it because she was the only positive constant in my life."
I absolutely loved this story! So many feels within the pages of this deep, emotional and gripping story that was both heartbreaking and sweet. These are real life issues that Jennifer Snyder brings into focus and she does it in the form of an eloquent and well written story that will stay with me for quite some time. Cole and Emory's story is a must read that I would highly recommend to just about everyone.
"Silence is the most powerful cry."