Series: Bleeding Hearts #2
on October 19, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Second Chance Romance
The distance from Colorado to Maine is not far enough to escape the memories. The time I've been away is not long enough to heal the pain. I left Colorado, determined to discover who I am outside of my grief, but I fell apart along the way. I'm lost again. When Jude follows me, I can't turn him away. But I can't let him in, either. Not all the way. I know when he finds out my secret, the one I keep hidden in the darkest part of my heart, he’ll leave me. Alone. Like I was before.
Whitney writes from the soul about topics you don’t want to discuss. But they’re around us, they’re important. It can be uncomfortable but she excels at pulling emotion from the reader and eliciting specific emotions and reactions at pivotal moments. For this alone, I applaud her. Into The Tomorrows and Back to Yesterday are not easy books to read, the author pushes boundaries and works outside of the norm to create compelling characters and an original concept.
“One step forward, one breath out. One dream gone, one hope forgotten. A thousand wishes lost once they’d left my lips. He’d been in almost every one.”
As always, I love Jude. How strong and dependable he is, sweet and mysterious. He comes out of his shell a little more here and you can start to get a glimpse of his feelings but I never 100% believed the relationship between these two. At times it just felt like that’s what should happen between them, so that’s why it was happening. The chemistry might have been lacking, and I love feeling that desire for another person, not being able to stand being away from them. At times I felt it, and others not at all. Even just more of Jude and less inner monologues could’ve helped in this situation, but given how much time was spent with Trista’s new problem, that just wasn’t possible.
“I couldn’t let him save me; I needed to save myself first.”
My biggest struggle with BTY is the fact that this is not at all where the story was expected to go. If you read ITT, at the end View Spoiler »Trista says that she’ll come back for Jude when she’s ready for him and has found herself, but none of that occurs. « Hide Spoiler We don’t witness Trista doing any self discovery or growth either, she actually falls further down the rabbit hole. We watch as she’s stuck, just like she always has been, until she gets worse and worse. I don’t understand the reasoning for the story to go how it did, and no, in no way was I expecting sunflowers and roses because that’s not who these two are, but everything that we were led to believe at the ending of the first book was then just thrown out. Even in BTY, nothing has changed. I didn’t really appreciate the reasoning as to why Trista and Jude found themselves ‘together’ again and the problems that they had in the middle. None of it needed to be this way and even after the first run in, I have a hard time believing the Jude we met in ITT would’ve acted/left Trista as she was. And at a point I kind of wanted to give up with her, throw in the towel and move on. She was so frustrating to be inside of her head with all of this happening, she knew what she needed, she knew she wanted to change, she knew she wanted to get Jude back, but she wouldn’t do a thing about any of it. It wouldn’t let people in. She wouldn’t even TRY to grow or change. It just doesn’t make sense to me. They were supposedly the same people, but the two stories in my mind, for the most part didn’t coincide.
“Promise me,” he said, his voice gruff against my ear.
“What am I promising?” I asked against his chest as he led me to his car.
“To try. If not for you, for me.”
Then the ending seemed to just tie up a little too neatly and quickly, considering everything these two have gone through. I still have questions about them that weren’t answered, and part of me doesn’t find all of it believable for them. I don’t know, I’m just kind of shaking my head here, because this was one of my most anticipated fall releases.
Trista and Jude have been on quite the journey, but I almost don’t want it to be the end. I loved the epilogue, I thought it was perfect, but I wouldn’t necessarily oppose to having more of them in the future. A novella, perhaps? I just haven’t had my fill of them yet. *wink wink nudge nudge*
“If you can’t love yourself,” he said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, “let me love you enough for the both of us.”
Whitney is also incredibly creative in the fact that she includes poetry in this novel. Trista likes to write poetry to try and convey her feelings appropriately and it helps to give her an outlet. The pieces included in Back to Yesterday are complex and dynamic in their makeup and impact, I really don’t know of many authors who can or would even try this.
I hooked my finger through
the hole in my heart.
Trying to fill the places
you kept when I left.
But it’s useless.
Because I don’t want to
fill the void
with more of me.
Maybe I’m learning
I’m less of me
when I’m not
As a person, I love Whitney. As an author, I love Whitney. But as my blog girls like to point out, not everyone likes mushrooms. We refer to certain books as mushrooms – some people like them, some don’t, some like certain kinds, etc. In this case, I’m just not feeling like eating mushrooms today and that kind of sucks, because I wanted to love this story. But in the age old adage of ‘It’s not you, it’s me,’, I’m going to be a cliche today and say that it’s totally me. Into The Tomorrows is one of my favourite books of the year, so I still definitely recommend giving this duet a try. It’s going to work a lot better for some other people than it did for me.
“I’ll look up at the sky tonight. I hope you do, too.”
“I will. Every night until you come back.”
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.
“Are you okay?”
He laughed, but it was without humor. He dropped his head and stared at his plate as I had minutes earlier. “Am I okay?” Shaking his head, he said, “No, I’m not fucking okay.” He pushed away from the table hard enough that the screech of the chair across the wooden floor startled me. Jude was always so steady, and while he wasn’t necessarily predictable, he wasn’t prone to outbursts of anger like this. He picked up his plate and walked to the sink and I stared at his back, willing him to talk to me. But I couldn’t ask that of him.
Picking up my plate, I debated what to do. It was surreal almost, being in Jude’s apartment but not touching him the way I wanted to. Finally, I joined him at the sink as he worked a sponge into a lather and swiped it across his plate. “Let me do it,” I said softly, reaching a hand in to take the sponge from him.
He let go of the plate and clasped my forearm as I reached into the sink. His touch was gentle as he turned my wrist over and rubbed a thumb slowly across the length of my vein, visible through my translucent skin. I could only hold my breath as he touched me like this, like he was memorizing the blue lines that ran the length of my forearm. His hands were warm, searching, and I realized that I’d been yearning for this, for the simple act of him touching my skin like it was delicate. His fingers moved down, and my closed fist opened to give him access to my palm, where he traced the lines in my hands. It was so intimate, even in its simplicity, that all I could do was watch him as he examined my hands. “I’ve missed you,” he said in a voice that was just short of a whisper. My heart turned over as he bent my fingers gently back into my fist and rubbed his soapy fingers over the knuckles.
When he let go of my hand and turned away from me, I felt goose bumps ignite across my skin. All I wanted was for him to keep touching me, but I’d hurt him. And he’d hurt me.
We had miles of pain between the two of us, and even though we were no longer miles apart, that pain existed between us like another person, holding both of us back.
“I missed you too,” I said too late, when I’d caught my breath again.
“Please,” he pleaded as he rinsed the plate in his hands. “I can’t hear you say that right now.”
Nodding, I backed away. I understood. This wasn’t the time or place, and we were little more than strangers right now. I was a new Trista, someone he had never known.
Likely, someone he didn’t want to know.