“We were perfect together. Until we met.”
I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…
And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.
Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.
We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?
Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?
F*ck it. I need to meet her.
I just don’t expect to hate what I find.
He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.
Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.
He could be gone forever.
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.
We were perfect together. Until we met.”
Ever since I read Bully, I became an instant Penelope Douglas fan. The woman speaks right to my inner angst junky. It certainly doesn’t hurt matters that she also manages to create the perfect alphahole heroes in every book I read by her. Having loved her Falling Away series and all the others as well, to say that this book is right up there with Bully for me is a lot. Because Bully continues to be one of my top favorites by her. But there was also an underlying message to this book that I loved. That in addition to the incredible writing, the fantastic characters, the delicious angst, and the oh so sexy romance combined to be one of my top reads for the year.
He’s a jerk whose only kick in life is to make mine miserable.
I think we all have a point in our life where we didn’t feel comfortable in our own skin; where being accepted even if it means suppressing your real self a little feels like the easiest thing to do. A time where your peer’s opinions of you feel like the most important thing and acceptance is everything. No one is born full comfortable with themselves and being able to do what’s right even if that means going against the grain, but the road to getting there is the most interesting one.
Ryen is not a heroine that you want to like. What I mean is, here’s someone that’s the exact opposite of your usual heroine. She’s popular, she’s quiet when the weak are being picked on, and she suppresses her real self for the warmth of acceptance that she gets from people that aren’t even truly her friends. But there’s also something about this character that clicks with you. You can’t help but connect with her and understand her on some level, because at one time or another we’ve all been in her shoes.
Ryen and Misha have been pen pals for years, and while they know each other’s deepest and darkest thoughts, they have no idea who the other really is or what they look like. That doesn’t stop them from developing an incredible connection through their letters…until Misha gets a real peak at who Ryen is and everything changes.
We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”
Misha is a grade A asshole in the beginning and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love every page of it. Douglas has this gift for writing some of the sexiest alphaholes I’ve ever read. Yes, they’re mean and you want to slap them at times, but you also understand what drives them to be that way and you can’t help but love them anyway.
I want everything about you, Ryen, and I know you want me.” Her body shakes a little, and I lean in, kissing her on the cheek. “But I love the way you lie.”
The angst is off the charts good. For those that are like myself and enjoy that burn of sexual tension with a bit of hate/lust, you will devour every page and beg for more. And the sexual chemistry?
This is so much more than a sexy NA romance, however. It’s a story of learning to love and accept yourself. A story of learning to stand up for what you believe is right even if no one stands up with you. It’s a story of friendship and love. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that you never want to get off of and a romance between two people that don’t make sense together on paper but couldn’t be more right for each other. It’s dark and light, it’s love and hate. It’s complete and utter perfection.
I miss you every day, I write. You’re my favorite place.
If you’re a fan of Penelope Douglas and you enjoyed her Fall Away series and you want another taste of her Devil’s Night world, this is an absolute must read. If you love angsty NA romances with a H/h that you will love to hate and just flat out love, this is an absolute must read. If you’re a fellow angst whore like me, then this is an absolute must read. Basically, what I’m trying to tell you here is READ THIS BOOK!! You won’t regret a second of it.
You’re not alone. It gets better. You are important, and you can’t be replaced. Hang on.