Published by HarperTeen on April 4th 2017
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Meg Haston's romantic and thrilling new YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.
Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.
Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.
Trigger warning: domestic violence
The End of Our Story is a book that I picked up solely because it contains my favourite romance trope of all time, second chance romance. But it ended up wowing me for so much more than just the romance. I loved the themes that were explored in this book and I thought the author handled them all very well.
This novel is told from dual perspectives and two different timelines. In the present, we follow our lead female, Bridge, as she deals with seeing her former best friend and boyfriend, Wil, now with a different girl after her betrayal a year ago. When a tragic loss in Wil’s family presents Bridge with the opportunity to reconnect with Wil and be there for him in his time of grief, Bridge jumps at the chance to earn his forgiveness. But there are dark secrets in Wil’s family that prevent them from making any progress in their relationship, and we get to find out what these secrets are from Wil’s perspective, which is written from the past. I absolutely loved the writing in this book and found it really easy to follow the dual timelines. I connected with the story from the very first page and I was so captivated by the story and the storytelling that I finished the novel in just one sitting. I did find some things to be slightly predictable but I actually didn’t mind it because I don’t think this novel was intended to be a suspenseful read in any way. I liked having little seeds planted in my mind as I read the book and I enjoyed everything as they were revealed.
This book tackles some heavy topics, just like Meg Haston’s previous YA novel, Paperweight, which dealt with eating disorders. This book deals with domestic violence and I thought it was handled well and given enough thought and page-time that the novel really did it justice. It was uncomfortable to read at times but I liked the way that the story played out and thought it was successful in shining a light on the issue. My only criticism and why I took off half a star from my rating is because I felt like the ending could have been a little bit more resolved. But I also did like it the way that it was.
“She is who she is. Whatever she’s done to piss you off doesn’t make her a bad person. People aren’t the things they do.”
I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Both of the main characters are flawed and it was so easy to relate to them. I liked the first person narration a lot and enjoyed reading about their insecurities and it allowed me to really appreciate their strength and resilience. I really loved Bridge as a main character and found her to be really likable. It was nice to see her character growth throughout the novel and I finished the book wanting to know more about her and read more about her. I loved the way she interacted with her mother and her younger brother throughout the book and the way that she tried to be a great friend to those who matter to her. I also absolutely loved Wil as well and thought he was such a sweetheart. Bridge and Wil’s relationship together was definitely one of my favourite aspects of the book because of how well the second chance romance was executed. I thought all of the anger and the tension between the two were extremely valid and I enjoyed reading about the two of them together and would be happy to read a dozen more books about the two of them.
I thought The End of Our Story was a brilliantly executed book that tackles some heavy topics with great care. I enjoyed the plot of the book and fell in love with the characters and the friendships in the novel. It’s made me extremely excited for Meg Haston’s next YA release.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thank you to HarperTeen for providing a review copy.
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