Series: Bleeding Hearts #1
Published by Whitney Barbetti on June 16th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
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I was born in sadness,which was just the beginning of a solemn and desolate life. I'm no stranger to pain—none of us are. The night I held my best friend's hand as she died, I understood true agony. And I never thought I'd feel happiness again.
But that was so long ago...
Moving to Colorado to be with Colin, my high school sweetheart, was the perfect way to start over and rekindle what had begun to fizzle. I wanted that spark to ignite, to burn in passion and desire. Instead, I found myself falling for Jude, my boyfriend's roommate. He’s the only person who understands my soul, who can breach the walls I’ve built. But I can't have him.
Because I'm Trista Kohl, and my destiny is sorrow.
I haven’t had such a visceral reaction to a story in a long time. Whitney’s style and poise is so poignant, it spoke to me on such a personal level, it’s incomprehensible. This is a story that no reader should overlook.
Trista. I don’t even know how to start other than saying I wish I could’ve helped this girl. Just start by reading the blurb, and tell me your heart doesn’t hurt for this her. After hearing what she had been through, the problems she faced with her mother and her lack of identity, my heart was breaking for her. One of Trista’s biggest issues was that she has always blended into the background, and due to various reasons, she had no idea of who she was as a person. She was always recognized as the other half of Ellie and Trista, or known as Colin’s girlfriend, but never just Trista Kohl. Now that she wants to be just Trista, she’s completely lost.
“I can’t, not right now. It’s so much, and I’m not ready for you.”
I felt him press a kiss to the top of my head. “I’ll be waiting when you are.”
Jude is the type of person that is just incredibly soulful and wise. He possesses wisdom beyond his years and delivers it in such a manner as well. He kind of reminds me of grandmother Willow. He smart, passionate, confident, intensely focused and loyal. He values honesty and both has previously and continues to put himself in harms way in order to protect those around him. Not every book needs an alpha-caveman like hero. You know the ones, “me like girl, me chase girl, me love girl” while pounding in their chest and marking their territory. I loved everything about Jude and how immensely unique his character was. He speaks when he has something to say, supports others when that’s what they need, and does it all with a quiet and clear grace.
With how amazing Jude was, he was the absolute perfect type of character to be matched up with Trista. He was so sure footed and knew what he wanted in life, has a solid base of morals and a foundation laid for the rest of his life. Trisha was so lost and unidentified that she possessed none of the sureness that Jude had. But the perfect thing was how Jude could help her along the way, to delve inside her and discover these qualities, these likes, dislikes, and hopes. I can’t think of a better set of complimentary main characters in any book I’ve read in a long time.
“Ready?” he asked against the shell of my ear.
Every time he asked that, he made me think I wasn’t ready. No, definitely not ready for the havoc Jude would wreak upon my heart.
But I nodded, and his arms slid down until we were holding hands. And as we began our descent, all I could think about was how he didn’t let go of me. Not once. He held my hand like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Jude was a holder. And I’d never realized until that moment how badly I’d needed to be held.
I loved the setting of the roof and how this could be a private place for Jude and Trista together. I swooned over every second of these conversations and they really helped to build the connection between these two characters. There’s just something about people talking about their secrets in the dark that speaks to me. They were safe, calm and trusting of the other. They could confide in each other and believe what was happening. The roof was there space, and some pretty important information was traded there. If I could think about a major turning point in the novel for their relationship, it would have to do with this setting.
There were a few truly unique elements during Into The Tomorrows, one of my favourites being the foreshadowing and comparisons with the myth and Celtic legend of Tristan and Iseult. It was refreshing and quite captivating to read about while woven into this story.
Realism is a topic that I want to touch upon briefly, and this could very well be how I originally connected with the story and Trista so well and so quickly. Her best friend Ellie dies at a party, because of some drugs that she’s taken. *spoiler police, don’t get mad. It’s in the synopsis*. This immediately struck a nerve with me. I’m extremely thankful to say that none of my friends have died, but it’s a very scary revelation when you’re at a party, and you realize your friend(s) have taken something, whether it’s ecstasy, MDMA, Molly, whatever the case may be. For the most part, sure all ends up being okay, but there are times when it doesn’t. It’s nerve wracking, especially when you didn’t know they were taking anything in the first place. I can easily recall what it’s like on those nights, being in that situation of trying to look out for someone. Being in Trista’s shoes is one of my greatest fears in that sense.
“I climb mountains so that I can see the world. The world doesn’t care what I’ve done.”
On a lighter note, the realism in the camping and travel scenes to the fear and adrenaline of wildlife spottings was completely on point. I enjoy hiking, I have previously climbed a mountain (just as Trista and Jude do) and in the past I was an avid camper. I can say from experience, Whitney knows what she’s talking about and paints a precise picture with her words.
There were so many feelings I had and different emotions that I experienced during this book. Everything from the high of a swoon worthy man showing his adoration to the depths of despair and loneliness, Whitney creates it all. She took my breath away and at times created tears. My thoughts and emotions on this story are still over the top, even days after finishing. I won’t let these two go from my heart for a long time.
“What if the truth is dirty?” I followed it with a nervous swallow, watched as his gaze shifted for a second to my throat before meeting my eyes again.
“Then I appreciate it even more. Let me be stained with truth. I’ll take a dirty truth over a pretty lie any day.”
I tend to associate songs with the books that I read, whether they match with a theme, scene, character, etc. One that I kept thinking of for Jude and Trista was Treat You Better by Shawn Mendes. I love the emotion it can bring to these two and their situation.
I won’t lie to you
I know he’s just not right for you
And you can tell me if I’m off
But I see it on your face
When you say that he’s the one that you want
And you’re spending all your time
In this wrong situation
And anytime you want it to stop
I’ll stop time for you
The second you say you’d like me too
I just wanna give you the loving that you’re missing
Baby, just to wake up with you
Would be everything I need and this could be so different
Tell me what you want to do
I know I can treat you better
Than he can
And any girl like you deserves a gentleman
Tell me why are we wasting time
On all your wasted crime
When you should be with me instead
I know I can treat you better
Better than he can
At times I found a few idioms and sentences to be a tad repetitive. The same issues were discussed over and over again as way of explanations to why a character acted the way they did — I both agree and disagree with this to an extent. I disagree at times for the reasoning, just meaning that I don’t necessarily see it as a good enough reason to justify the behaviours, but then on the other hand, I completely understand. These were some deep routed issues and fears, so I can acknowledge how important they were to address and why they kept resurfacing. Because of this, even if it came across as repetitive at times, I can appreciate why it continues to be brought up throughout the novel. *No, don’t worry, it’s not a case of the heroine’s self esteem issue, thinking she isn’t good enough for the hero — that drives me bonkers when overdone 😛 and yes, I’m purposely being vague. Read the book and find out!*
“My whole body is a story, and each mark upon it is a page. Sometimes things happen in a story that you don’t want—or don’t expect—because you don’t choose it. And then, some things happen because you’ve chosen them—wanted them. My scars are things I didn’t choose. My tattoos are things I’ve chosen. And all of it is me, my story. It’s the story that sits in my throat, begging to be told. And when you’re too private to tell the story, you wear it instead.”
There were a few twists and revelations during Into The Tomorrows and in my opinion, there’s three major ones. One of them had a few small hints hidden throughout the story which I picked up on fairly easily. If you’re paying attention, I’m sure you will as well, it’s not a complete bomb dropping if you know what to look for, and I believe it’s written this way as to give the reader suspicions. The second one, while no there were no hints, it refers to both the past and present, as well as shedding light on some of the aforementioned issues. This one I speculated on for a long time – like most of the novel, long time. These two twists *for me, at least* were the sort of obvious ones; not predictable, but easier to see. The last twist though? Holy crap on a cracker, Batman! I did NOT see that one coming at all. I was more than a little shocked. I knew something was up, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it would be. The reveal was like a sucker punch to the gut. I was shaken and didn’t know at the time how to handle it. I felt like I was actually a part of the book, these characters were so real to me. I was hurt and confused, angry and alone, much like this character in the story.
While talking about the predictions I was making, I have a secret to confess. I did, shamefully, peak forward in the book to see if my guesses were correct. This isn’t usually something I do but I couldn’t help it, I just needed to confirm my queries. Now, an extremely important point I need to get across. I read part of the ending while I was only a little more than a third of the way through the book. I understood what was happening in the end, but didn’t have a huge amount of connection to it, if that makes sense. But then by the time I finished and actually read the ending how it should’ve been, after knowing all that I know and investing my feelings into these characters, I was completely blown away. Speechless. Dumbfounded. I didn’t know how to react and had to consciously remind myself to inhale and exhale. That last chapter was one of the most intense I’ve experienced in a long, long time. Note I said experienced, not read. Since finishing it three days ago, I’ve read the last few pages no less than eight or nine times. It just keeps repeating in my head and I need to go back and experience the words again.
There’s a warning at the beginning of the book that Into The Tomorrows is not a complete novel. It’s not a stand alone and is actually the first book in a series. The ending, while I wouldn’t refer to it as a cliffhanger, leaves you guessing. Could Whitney end the story there? She totally could – that’s what I mean about it not being a cliffhanger – but she leaves you needing more and with a want for the rest of Trista and Jude’s story. I need the second book like I need a million dollars… I needed it yesterday. I have so many feels and questions. On the plus side, the first chapter of Back to Yesterday is included at the end, so you get a glimpse into what happens next. After this delicious little morsel, my thirst for the second book in the series is only amplified. I need it now! I keep tapping on the last page in my kindle, hoping more might magically appear.
Into the Tomorrows is so much more than just the words on a page. It’s an enchanting journey of loss, hope, heartbreak, beauty and sorrow. I relished every moment and lived through every word. This will give you a major book hangover, I guarantee it.
Into The Tomorrows is the newest addition to my favourites shelf. <3
“Life’s too God damn short to be living so sad.” His voice had taken on an edge of impatience and he coughed again into his hand. “Live for tomorrow.”
“Sometimes, there is no tomorrow.” I thought of Ellie, how I’d prayed to wake up from what I assumed was a nightmare. For the tomorrow to carry me from the nightmare.
“Which is why you should live for it.
*An ARC was received from the author and Indie Girl Promotions in exchange for an honest review.