Series Placement: #1
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Drama
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Published by: Forever
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Book Blurb:Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she's getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.
Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn't want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he's done, what he's lost. He's sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he's too damaged to get close to her, yet she's the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?
Reviewers Note: Breaking Nova is book one in the Nova series and is a New Adult Contemporary Drama written by Jessica Sorensen. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) through NetGalley.
Painful, Grim and Dark. Two Lost Journeys With No Light To Guide Them Home...
This read was so heartbreakingly tragic, it weighed on me several days after reading it. I love Jessica Sorensen’s writing. She has a way with words, allowing the reader to feel the despair and loneliness of her characters. This one took her other books and amplified the pain up by a thousand, and I loved every angsty minute of it.
The two lead characters are so tragic, their pain so grievous, it jumped of the pages, leaving my heart bleeding, shattered and stomped on until it was crystallized dust. The desperation of the characters to find some sort of peace was a futile, blinding misery in the darkness that had ensnared them. Everything they went through in their pasts has broken the forward-moving, happy, loving people they once were and turned them into human husks, suspended in time, their minds stuck in an emotional hell they neither can escape nor want to escape, thinking they deserve all the turmoil they can heap on themselves.
They don't want to let go and they don't want to move forward. For different reasons, they both feel the need to trap themselves in the past, suffering each long day in a black haze of nothingness.
Their pain is real and they've completely forfeit their lives to their misery and tragedy.
They are utterly broken.
I have my silence now, which is my healing, my escape, my sanctuary. Without it, I’d hear the noises of that morning, see the bleeding images, and feel the crushing pain connected to them. - Nova
This book opens up with a Prologue where eighteen year old Nova Reed and her childhood best friend, now boyfriend, are laying in the grass behind his house, talking about life and what it all means. The conversation is a bit deep for two people so young, but Landon is an artist who thinks on a different, more somber level than most people Nova knows. Its one of the things that drew her to him, along with the sadness that matched her own, in his eyes. Best friends since they were thirteen, they decided to take their relationship to the next level six months prior and Nova is looking forward to the future.
But when waking up in the grass alone after falling asleep with the person she loves most at her side, her life is suddenly turned completely upside down and she is consumed by a bleakness so dark, its sends her spiraling into the void. That day changed everything about Nova.
Quinton Carter is carefree and loves life. He has a plan. He knows for a certainty that he will go to college in a few short months, get an art degree, marry his girlfriend who is the love of his life and together, have a family someday. But fate steps in and in an instant, thats all cruelly snatched from him and now he’s left to figure out how to survive. Alone.
The book finally opens up to fifteen months later where both Nova and Quinton are existing but not living. Neither one can get past the events that changed them so dramatically. On a chance meeting, they are both drawn to each other. The darkness within them is screaming out for a connection but guilt and pain keep them struggling to find a balance.
As the days pass, they each try to find ways to cope.
Nova has given up on the happiness in her life. She no longer plays the drums, she no longer thrives on music and she has turned off all her feelings except the pain. Instead of moving forward, she masks her pain with counting and order, a strict regimen, never expanding or experiencing. She’s obsessive compulsive, trying to control everything in her life because she couldn’t control the one thing that changed her unequivocally.
Landon was gone and he took a part of me with him - at least that was what it feels like. What’s left of me is a hollow shell full of denial and tangled with confusion. I have no idea who I am anymore. I really don’t. And I’m not sure if I want to know or not. - Nova
Quinton has dropped all of the things he loves from his life as well, feeling he deserves no happiness at all. He never smiles, he never laughs and he drowns himself in drugs and guilt. He doesn’t look forward to a bright future and he doesn’t want a connection with anyone.
Both of their coping methods are equally unhealthy as they try to run or drown in emotions instead of dealing with it. Its like those horrific event just happened yesterday because they are stuck. At times, while they are together, it seems there’s a slight desire to move forward until the guilt takes hold again and sucks them back in, trapping them in the haze once more.
I wish I could keep my eyes shut forever, because then I’d never have to go back to reality. I don’t try to kiss her or feel her up. I just hold her and let our bodies stay linked, wanting to know her and understand her more that I have with anyone since Lexi. For an instant, I have something to hold on to again, a reason to keep breathing, to live. - Quinton
Nova and Quinton are surrounded by events and people that do nothing but aid in their struggle. I loved the harrowing journey these two take and their time together might have been steeped in sorrow but they could have been good together, healing together if only they allowed themselves. But both were so far gone, Quinton especially, that the good they once harbored, was suffocating under the pain.
I also loved the flashbacks we get with Nova and Landon. It helped me to understand what happened to him and that he wasn’t a hurtful person, just a person in so much pain he couldn’t find the happiness, even though he tried so very hard and had so much to be happy about. His mind and soul just couldn’t escape whatever was keeping him trapped in the dark.
... she actually cares about my life. She shouldn’t be caring about it. It’s worthless. I'm worthless. I may be walking around, breathing, heart beating, blood running through my veins, but my existence, my soul, everything that made me who I was is dead. At least I thought it was. But there’s another part of me, one that’s been repressed for a very long time, that relishes in the fact that she cares about my life - about me. - Quinton
The Wrap Up:
This book ends on a slight cliffy. Nova and Quinton’s story will continue in the next book, which I know is going to be even more harrowing, given the way this one ended. I'm a huge fan of Jessica Sorensen and I can’t wait to see where these characters are heading next.
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