With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.
Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.
As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them. @goodreads
OMG! This book was painful to read at times. The things the people go through in this book, I can't even!
This is a story about Tessa and Jack.
Tessa lives with her mom, stepdad and little sister Willow. Tessa's stepdad is an alcoholic. Things are not all that great. Tessa's grandmother (who is the mom of her biological dad that walked out on Tessa and her mom) is rich and owns a business called Leighton Custom Homes. She wants Tessa to go to the U of M and work at LCH and take over one day. Tessa wants to be an artist, but she feels forced to do what her grandmother wants because of reasons I won't say due to no spoilers.
Jack and his mom move in next door to Tessa and her family. Jack's mom used to be a big attorney and still does some tiny cases. She was always an alcoholic, but now she's worse and she has schizophrenia. Jack's father left after a tragedy happened and caused Jack's mom to lose it. Jack's dad wants him to come and live with him but Jack needs to take care of his mom. He goes to school, gets in trouble, is very smart though, and he works a few different jobs to try to pay the bills. He also plays the violin.
Tessa has a boyfriend on the football team and his name is Seth. But Tessa does some terrible things to try to make herself feel better. They are not good things and she knows it but for now she feels that is all she has got.
Jack is a trouble maker. He doesn't do really bad things, mostly funny stuff that does get him into a lot of trouble. It's sort of a way to get his mind off all of the bad things in his life. But he's also a good guy, he plays his violin for the nursing home. He's just stuck.
Tessa and Jack find each other and can be honest with each other with their most terrible secrets. They don't have to be afraid of each other. This does take some time to happen but it's nice to find a true friend and they do have a love interest with each other. But this isn't a big time love book. It's about people going through things and helping each other. It's really bittersweet.
There is a moment in the book when something else bad happens that I should have seen. I am usually good at that, but it slipped right by me. One of those parts that breaks your heart for so many people and almost gets someone killed! This is why I like reading with other people so we can talk about the OMG moments!
Anyway, I thought the book was really good. I loved most of the characters even with their flaws. Well, okay the not so good characters were very well played as well.
I also like that the author put in some websites at the end concerning, sex, alcoholics and mental health. All of these things are real and need to be addressed and people helped if they can be.
For guidance with alcohol/drug abuse and mental disorders contact: samhsa.gov
*I would like to thank Penguin Books and The First Reads Program for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
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