While browsing other reviewer's favorites shelves I spotted a cover with a heart on it, and I thought, "Hey, I could go for a little romance right now."
... Never fear, the synopsis quickly corrected me.
And indeed, I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.
The writing is a credit to the author. It's all too easy to fall into patterns and clichés with a novel that has an intense relationship and also has to juggle it with sexual content. The reason I found myself so moved by the novel was because of the aforementioned: it was an incredibly emotional ride between the two leads. But, to me, it was in no way romantic (sexy, I admit, yes--good god, the tension--but not to be confused with its close relative: romance). It was, in fact, a tragedy. It wasn't star crossed lovers to me. It was about a family. The two leads don't spend their time in the novel endlessly angsting, though there are several gut-wrenching moments. They are not merely concerned with themselves. They have siblings and school and dysfunctional parents and it was exhausting
reading through the trials of raising two young children and a teenager. It was practically harrowing!
It was painful and beautiful and dark and heartwrenching and lovely and I sobbed my bloody little heart out. Shelved indefinitely on my favorites.
For more compelling and detailed thoughts on this, please see Lyndsey and Wendy's reviews.