* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Summary (from Goodreads):
Myla used to love spending long, hot days on the beach with her sister, Asha. Until the day Asha was taken from her and the sun went out. Forever.
That was two years ago. Myla hasn’t been down to the beach – or even left the house – since. Crippling agoraphobia and panic attacks keep her locked inside a nightmare of the day she can never forget. Her main contact with the outside world is online – until she meets Jamie.
Jamie is new in town and also struggles with things most people find easy. Nobody gets why it’s so hard for him to eat. But, like Myla, Jamie is trapped by his fears and feels anxious, awkward and alone.
Gradually the pair begin to trust each other. Are they willing to reveal their secrets – and risk discovering the truth? Or will they let their pasts consume them for good…
There were some things I really liked about this book, but other bits that I really struggled with, which kind of spoilt my enjoyment a little.
I liked the mystery element, wondering who murdered Asha and what their motivations were. I managed to guess the person after a couple of obvious clues about half way through, but I didn’t mind as it was still interesting to see the characters work it out and understand how and why it had all happened.
I also liked the main characters. It was great to see a male protagonist with an eating disorder, and I think it’s the first I’ve come across in a book before. That’s really important to me, as I think too often eating disorders are seen as a ‘girls problem’ which just isn’t true. Myla was also a great protagonist. I loved that she was a blogger and a baker. It was interesting to see the effect of the loss of her sister had on her and her family and the different ways which they dealt with it.
The relationship between Jamie and Myla developed nicely in some respects. I liked that they didn’t love each other at first sight – or even like each other really. But neither had anyone else to turn to and circumstance forced them together, which meant a nice little romance developed between them.
What I didn’t like, however, was the was they each helped to ‘cure’ each other’s mental illnesses. Very early on in the relationship, Jamie encourages Myla to leave the house, and she seems willing to do it for him, a guy she barely knows. I know she wanted to get out for herself too, but it just felt a little corny/unbelievable that this basic stranger could come along and get her out the front door when her family and professionals had been unable to. Similarly, it made me cringe to see her trying to make him eat, though I think his recovery was a little slower and more believable.
So I had my problems with how some of the issues were dealt with, but I think that could just be how I interpreted things – you might read it differently. It’s still a well written and interesting book, and a quick and easy read.