I basically stumbled upon book #1, Deeper. I didn’t know what to expect but I fell in love with it instantly. I was a little upset to find out that I’d have to wait for some months to read the conclusion of Caroline and West’s story, so when I found some Advance Copies, I threw my TBR away and started Harder immediately. And it did not disappoint. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read these books… they’re just too good!
So Harder begins right where Deeper left off. West has left Caroline and college life to go back to his hometown. If you remember, West grew up with an abusive father, a barely present mother and a younger sister who he raised singlehandedly. His mother has decided to go back to his dead beat father and West is worried for his little sister Frankie, so he moves back to protect her.
However, West’s father is shot dead, and he reaches out to Caroline who immediately goes to West’s town. But West doesn’t want her there. His whole town is a sickness and he doesn’t want his lovely Caroline infected. Caroline wants him to go back with her, go back to college and their future, but West is convinced that he’s bound by his circumstances. That he has no future beyond taking care of his mother and sister.
I don’t know how he can survive here. I don’t know how he’s not crushed, because it crushes me just to watch him. This whole place – it’s beautiful… the trees in the mountains, the buttes and the ocean. It’s not fair that it’s beautiful, because it’s so outrageously cruel to the man I love. If West stays here, this place will kill him.
Sigh… this was such a heartbreaking story. I truly felt for West… feeling so trapped. Trying his best to provide and to help a mother who just kept pulling them all down. I loved that Caroline was strong for the two of them… that she tried so hard to show him that his life could be better… such an emotional story.
The characterisation was perfect… Caroline is what girls should be. Determined, loyal and kind. While West’s story brought me to tears, it was Caroline’s nature that gave me hope. She is probably the best heroine I’ve found in fiction… and definitely in New Adult books. She’s what you want your daughter to be… I wish more NA authors would have such inspiring female characters!
Oh and the best part was the optimistic nature of the book. Even though West and Caroline had hit the lowest of lows… there was this underlying light to their story. I just loved how good the story made me feel. Even motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and dream…
If you want something that will make you think, feel, cry then soar with life’s possibilities… this here is it. One of the best books I’ve read all year.
Amazon Buy Link -> Harder by Robin York
I’d like to thank the publisher for providing this ARC for my review.