Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review - Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorenson

Title: Breaking Nova
Series: Nova #1
Author: Jessica Sorenson
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 384, ebook
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Explicit sex and drug use)

Summary from Goodreads: 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?

This book had me so enraptured that I could not put it down! No matter how hard I tried.  Really - I tried.  I knew I was staying up WAY too late and I needed to get some sleep, so I would put the book down and lay there thinking about it until I couldn't stand it anymore and picked it back up again.  I did this twice.  Finally, I gave up and read until 4:00 AM, when I finally finished the book.  So, do NOT do what I did and start reading this book at 10:30 at night - it will not go well for you.  You have been warned.

I don't want to rehash the plot much because I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that both main characters, Nova and Quinton, are broken, chased by death and beaten into submission.  They're both coping with their brokenness in the only way they know how, but they're really just causing themselves more pain.  When Nova and Quinton meet, they are drawn to each other, despite their best efforts to stay numb.  The question is, will they be able to fight against the pain of their pasts and help each other to heal or will they simply spiral down into darkness together?

The negatives:
  • The Ending.  No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!  How did I not realize that this was the first book in a series?!  Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the ending to this book, if you are aware going in that this is book #1 in a series (which now you are!).  But, I was all ready for a nice little wrap-up, maybe an epilogue that brought the whole story to a close - and I was crushed when I realized the state that the characters were being left in at the end of this book!  (It didn't help that my sneaky Kindle told me I still had 5% left of the book, when it was really just counting previews of other books).  I was shocked!  And appalled!  And I need the next book NOW!!!  (So, now that you're forewarned, this isn't really a negative - at least it won't be for you).
  • Similarities between Quinton and Landon.  I wish that there hadn't been quite so many similarities between Quinton and Nova's ex-boyfriend Landon.  The fact that they were both artists and loved to sketch seemed just a little too conveniently coincidental and I think that Sorenson could have drawn parallels between the two characters without them being so alike in this way.  But, this was really just a personal preference and I was able to move past this issue pretty easily and just enjoy the book. 
  • The emotional resonance.  Get ready to have your heart ripped out and stomped on.  Repeatedly.  As I said before, both Nova and Quinton are incredibly broken.  Throughout the book, you get more and more details about how they got that way.  It isn't pretty.  In fact, nothing about this book is pretty - even the beautiful parts.  I had a hollow ache in my chest for most of the time that I was reading this book because I just couldn't stand what was happening to both Nova and Quinton.  This is just the emotional response that you want from a book like this!
  • Nova and Quinton.  I absolutely adored both Nova and Quinton.  Despite Nova's propensity for OCD behaviors and panic attacks, she somehow remains likable (no easy feat).  Even though she is flawed in many ways and I sometimes hated her choices, everything that she did was realistic and understandable considering her tragic circumstances.  And, most of all, I was always emotionally connected to her, so I was completely invested in her story.  Likewise, I was in LOVE with Quinton.  I am a complete sucker for the "broken but beautiful" guy (at least fictional ones!) and Quinton fit this bill perfectly.  His story was almost more tragic than Nova's and the guilt and horror that ripped him apart was palpable.  I wanted nothing more than for both him and Nova to somehow find redemption and healing in each other.
  • The Writing.  I loved Sorenson's beautiful, almost poetic writing (even when she is writing about pain and death).  There were so many moments in this book that were just amazing - and I didn't want them to end.  I will definitely be reading more Jessica Sorenson in the future!
Breaking Nova is a spectacularly heartbreaking book that will keep you reading until the wee hours of the night!  You have to go get this book.  Now.   (Seriously - use the link - I don't even get a kickback from Amazon, I just really want you to read this book!)  5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the NetGalley and Forever in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***