Almost (by Anne Eliot)

Almost

Without another word, I turn my back and start for my Jeep, wondering if he can hear how loudly he’s made my heart pound.
“Okay then, see you after school, Jess. It’s a date. We’ll have some fun! Good luck on your afternoon final!”
He sounds like a stupid megaphone. When I don’t answer and hunch my shoulders, his low laugh adds a trail of goose bumps coursing down my neck.

As a high school freshman, Jess was drugged and almost raped at a party. That single night has defined every day of her life in the years since then. Unable to sleep at night because of the nightmares, she is perpetually tired. She survives on short naps in her car and Red Bull energy drinks.

When she meets Gray she comes up with a plan which will allay her parents’ fears and allow her to attend college. His job is to pretend to be her boyfriend and give her the air of normalcy. But he isn’t pretending, and he has a secret that could destroy any chance he has with her.

Almost took quite a while to get going. I think I was nearly 50% through before it finally had me hooked. Honestly, I could have walked away from it without any regrets…but I’m glad I didn’t. Despite the slow start and the difficult topic, this is a really good book, both satisfying and uplifting.

“I know I’m acting crazy but I’m in love with this girl. Major love. And I have no idea what to do about it, so it’s messing with my sanity.”

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