Title: The Truth About Letting Go
Author: Leigh Talbert Moore
Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing and played it safe until her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.
Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. Then she meets Jordan. He has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe.
Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.
Wow. I flew through this novel yesterday. And I mean can you believe that cover? Beautiful.
The book begins with Ashley, the main character, as she prepares for the dinner that comes after her father's funeral. Her father, who was a health nut, developed cancer and from the way Ashley describes it, he faded fast. It was a matter of six months from diagnosis to death.
Ashley, we come to learn, was very close with her father. So of course she is taking his death incredibly hard. During the dinner she escapes to the creek that runs through her neighborhood and there she meets Charlotte an overweight girl who Ashley recognizes from school but has never spoken to because Ashley is at the top of the high school food chain and Charlotte, well, isn't. As Charlotte and Ashley start talking Ashley realizes this girl looked up to and adored Ashley's father. She read his health articles for the newspaper and he inspired her to try to get her weight under control. And as she talks about her dad Ashley feels the weight in her chest begin to lift.
She returns to school and again, runs into someone she recognizes but realizes she doesn't kn ow his name. He has a locker next to hers and while he has had the locker all year she never noticed him before. HIs name is Jordan. He is geeky and definitely not fit to be seen with Ashley but she doesn't care. He's also nice and funny and a great kisser.
But Ashley wants danger. She realizes that the only real way to escape from her pain is the adrenaline rush that she gets when she is breaking the rules. And Jordan, whose future plans are to become a pastor, definitely is not one to break the rules with. Enter Colton Sterling. New student and self proclaimed "bad boy" he takes one look at Ashley and decides she is his new partner in crime. She knows it's wrong to deface public property and fool around in the broom closet at church but for once in her life Ashley doesn't care. Because when she's breaking the rules she can forget about losing her dad. But at what cost?
I truly understand what Ashley is going through in this novel. My teen years we faced with hard ships from foster care to my mother dying and lots of other things. And I ran away from the pain by doing exactly what Ashley does. So as frustrating as it is to read about her running away from Jordan and straight into the arms of trouble I understood it also.
This novel is so real. It's very moving and I didn't want to put it down. Truly, I don't think I did from the first page to the last. Reminiscent of Sarah Dessen in the way the characters are formed and the way you instantly connect with them, this novel has everything to make it an instant hit. And I know I look forward to anything else this author publishes.