By: Elaine Neil Orr
Published Year: 2018
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): The lives of one young woman and two young men collide in a small neighborhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Kate, a recent college graduate, is still reeling from the deaths of her beloved parents when the discovery of hidden letters forces her to re-examine everything she knew about her family. Tacker, a young engineering student and all-around boy-hero, has returned from a West African odyssey where he fell in love with the local culture but was sent home in shame. Kate's and Tacker's stories come together when, on the same day and in different moments, they encounter a young African-American man named Gaines. The relationship that develops between the three is complicated, as each one searches for love, freedom, and new beginnings.
I was definitely drawn in by the cover of this book, so the first impression was pretty solid. The comparison to books like The Help only served to strength my first impressions!
What I thought
Unfortunately, everything went downhill after the cover.
Tacker, a white male in his early 20s, was sent back early from a 2-year architecture job in Nigeria. Kate, a white female in her early 20s, recently returned to her hometown after finishing her degree. Both Tacker and Kate are trying to figure out who they want to be after some life changing events. Neither of them knows what they want to do with their lives and they both feel lonely. Gaines, a black male in his 20s, recently moved to town with his mother and younger sister. When all three of their lives intertwine, they find themselves fighting battles they never knew they would fight.
Full disclaimer, I did not finish this book. I got about halfway through this book and was still struggling, so I had to give up. The summary sounded exciting, with two young white people who cross paths with the same black man and end up in the middle of the civil rights revolution. I expected a big moment when all of them crossed paths and ended up on this struggle together.
However, halfway through the book, Tacker and Kate had only interacted with Gaines twice for all of 2 minutes. Instead, the book was focused on Tacker being upset that his two year trip to Nigeria to work as an architect being cut short and Kate dealing with her parents' deaths. The other thing that was a bit odd to me is that Kate and Tacker interacted sparingly and Kate had a boyfriend in Atlanta, but Tacker was all of a sudden in love with her? It just wasn't a relationship that worked for me. I didn't feel any connection. There was no build up and no reason for me to believe they were connecting in any way. In fact, the first time they hung out, Tacker and Kate went to dinner and then didn’t talk for days afterwards. But then, for some reason, they hung out again, even though they both seemed annoyed that they hadn’t talked after the first hang out? It just never made sense to me.
The other issue I had was that this book is majority descriptions. Not much dialogue at all, which made it even harder to get through. I don't put books down easily, but when I'm halfway through a book and nothing has yet to happen, I just felt like it was becoming a waste of my time to continue.