In a small cottage house in rural Ireland, Finley is forced to face a past she can’t outrun.When Finley books her trip to the “Emerald Isle” as a foreign exchange student, she hopes to create a new identity and get some answers from God. After all, since her brother’s recent death, God seems to have forgotten she even exists.Now all she wants to do is let her heart heal, see the sights in her brother’s favorite country, and work on her college audition piece for a prestigious music conservatory. She plans to use her brother’s journal from his time as Ireland as her guide, yet from the moment she boards the plane and sits next to Beckett Rush, teen star of the hottest vampire flicks, nothing goes according to her well-ordered plan.The peace and beauty of the Irish village are no match for the chaos that soon becomes her life. When she gets roped into working as Beckett Rush’s personal assistant, she finds this famous wild child is not quite what he seems. And as she grows closer to the mysterious actor, her own secrets refuse to stay put.As things begin to unravel, Finley takes desperate measures to control her own life and fill the empty spaces her brother left behind.
When it all comes crashing down, Finley must discover how to give her past to God . . . if there’s to be any hope in her future.
At first glance of that cover, I thought this book would be a lot lighter than it really was. This book dealt with dealing with the loss of a loved one and the grief that can take over your life if you don’t control it from the jump. This book follows Finley Sinclair as she takes a trip to Ireland to see the sights that her late brother wrote about in his traveling journal. She’s hoping that she’ll find some closure from his death and finally be able to move on with her life because for the past two years, his death is still as fresh and as raw as it was when she first found out he died.
We meet Finley as she was being bumped up from coach to first class and gets sat next to A-List celebrity Beckett Rush. She’s got no interest in Beckett or his fast paced celebrity life and Beckett is pleasantly surprised by this information. He doesn’t need to guard himself against her and he can be the one person that he can’t be around everyone else on the planet, including his father, and that’s himself.
Finley is doing the foreign exchange student thing and her host family runs the B&B that Beckett is staying at. The B&B is a strange place for the star to want to stay at since it’s a very homey place and not at all the 5 star hotel resort that you would think actors would prefer to stay at. But as you get to know Beckett, you start to realize that he’s not the party animal one would have you believe from reading all of the tabloids. Getting to know Beckett also makes you want to smash his father’s head in because that boy needs a father more than he needs a manager and that makes me think of Kris Jenner from the Kardashian’s. Ugh, I’m not a fan of hers and I wasn’t a fan of Montgomery Rush either.
This story was a compelling story about a sister who’s love for her brother (and not the gross kind of love either) sends her to another country to feel closer to him. She had a wonderful relationship with her older brother Will and she can’t forgive God and the people responsible for his death. She can’t get over his death and she misses him everyday. She keeps his travel journal with him and she wants to see the same sights and feel the same things that Will felt when he was there in Ireland. She wants to heal from all of the hurt that she’s been through but she ultimately just wants to get better.
Watching her struggle through to the end was a trial to get through because I got frustrated with her at so many turns over the course of the book. Her treatment of Beckett got on my nerves and her denial made me want to smack some sense into her but even through all of that, the book was good. I enjoyed getting to know her host family, I enjoyed getting to know the sisters from her school and my most favorite relationship in this book was the friendship and bond that bloomed between Mrs. Sweeney and Finley. Of all of the relationships in this book, it was that friendship that I enjoyed seeing come together.
My frustrations with Finley lay with the fact that she worried so much (I’m a worry wart too but she takes worrying to a whole other level) and the eating disorder, her complete lack of faith in Beckett despite everything that he’s done for her. I hated the way that she doubted everyone but expected everyone not to doubt her. I understand that I shouldn’t have been annoyed with her because of all of that but that didn’t stop me from wanting to smash her face in every time she wouldn’t let anyone be there for her. There were plenty of times when I thought I would put the book down because I couldn’t take any more of Finleys woe is me crap but it was the other characters that pushed me through. It was the other characters like Mrs. Sweeney, Beckett, Erin, Nora and all of those characters that made me want to finish this out.
In the end, I’m glad that I pushed my way through because I was happy with the way that it ended but there was so much frustration throughout the book, having to deal with Finley that it chipped away at my enjoyment of the book. Overall, the story was great and the characters were charming but I didn’t love the book. One thing that I feel needs to be pointed out is that this is a Christian YA fiction book so if you’re not into the religion stuff than I don’t think this is the book for you. There isn’t a lot of preachy stuff in here and I didn’t think the author came off as preachy at all but there is a lot of stuff with faith and God and stuff in here so if that’s not your thing than this isn’t the book for you.
I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed getting to know the characters but the main character herself rode my nerves the entire book and though I was supposed to sympathize with her, there was a part of the book (most of the book) where I just wanted her to own up to her mistakes and move forward and I felt like it took her too long to come to that point.