About this book:
Six wasn’t the hero I needed.
But he was the man I wanted.
And it was my selfish craving, the desire to own him, that would be our undoing.
No one tells you that love is a disease. An infection that tears your heart apart, leaving you half the person you were before. A malady that leaves open wounds. An invisible disorder tracing scars in the places you couldn’t see if you weren’t looking for them.
I was sick, but love didn’t heal me.
Instead, it festered in my marrow, and drove me to unforgivable mistakes.
Six was my first mistake, but he wouldn’t be the last.
Release Date: 25th April, 2018
What I think?
Okay, so if I am to understand this correctly, then Six and Mira are secondary characters from Andra and Julian’s story He Found Me and Saved Me series. Which I did not read, so this is gonna be fun. Let’s begin.
I think we can all guess why I read this book, and I won’t even disagree if you call me shallow for reading it because of that cover. Can we just all take a moment to appreciate the beauty of that?
Now with that out of the way, lets head on to the story which is told solely from the POV of a 21 year old mental patient, and drug addict- Mira. The first time she meets the ever elusive Six is when she was out puking her guts after having snorted a questionable mixture of the all-powerful white powder- cocaine (although it was less cocaine and more of something.. questionable).
So from the very beginning we’re breaking two of those stone-set rules of romance—
♠ The female lead shalt be pure and shalt not sin.
♠ The male lead shalt be a tortured soul.
..which I definitely approve of- the breaking and not the rules.
This was my advantage; I knew that love was a disease for me. Love was contagious and my immune system was weak, so abstaining from men outside a purely physical connection was my only choice. The only way to keep myself sane.
Let me, rather than doing my usual of ranting, break this book down into what I liked and what I did not like to make it an easier review.
WHAT I DISLIKED?
♠ How long this story felt. I know this book spans over a period of about ten years, but I felt like I’d been reading forever before it finally got over. Now, that’s usually not a big problem for me because I happen to love long novels. But it gets tricky because if not taken care of, then instead of it just being long, the book can get long and boring. Which I found myself getting sometimes.
♠ Six. I think that’s a word enough. This entire book was, as I’ve already mentioned, written from the POV of Mira. And Mira and Six had a very dysfunctional relationship. Which means, while we get Mira’s contribution to that dysfunction, we don’t get Six’s. Because there is zero communication between the two.
For example, whenever Mira asked Six why he loved her even when she hurt him like she did, he simply said because he wanted to. Now, that sounds like a swoon-worthy response if it was said once, but throughout the book we never get Six’s motivations and reasons for loving and being with someone as difficult as Mira, and that just creates a disconnect between the reader and the character. Maybe that was because Six wasn’t ready, and maybe that would be something that would be rectified in the next book, but until I read that I wouldn’t know.
♠ The Ending. Need I say more? Literally their relationship stabilized in the last couple of chapters, and I remember thinking “how was Whitney going to create a conflict big enough to need another book to tell their story?” I mean, the blurb of Pieces of Eight are out, and I knew that Mira and Six get separated at the end, but I literally couldn’t find a good enough reason why. I guess people who’d read He Saved Me, already knew what was coming, but I took a guess and ended up being correct. Although I still cannot understand why she would react the way she did. I know it is established throughout the book that Mira is an unstable character, but we also see her growing. So that whole break-up just felt like something the Mira of 10 years ago would do, as opposed to the woman she’d grown up to become.
WHAT I LIKED?
There was a certain beauty in absentmindedness and how it lived in your limbs and made you do the simplest, but most profound things.
I know I know, this review probably read pretty scathing up until this point, but I did give it a 4 star, so there are quite a few things I actually loved.
♠ A proper depiction of mental health issues. One of my biggest issues with reading stories about people suffering from mental health is that somehow love always seems to cure them of any and every ailment. At least in the romance community. And I get that, people want a fairy tale ending, and mental issues are not welcome in fairyland. But it’s fake as fuck, and whenever I read about a character suddenly getting cured after falling in love, I cannot help but scoff. I maybe wrong, but a little bit of reality in fiction wouldn’t hurt anyone. Hopefully.
Which brings me to this book. Whitney did not pull any punches. Mira has issues with depression and self-harm and it was shouted out loud that just because she fell in love with Six doesn’t mean that she is suddenly free of them. In fact I think in ways she worsens, because any rift that she feels in her relationship sends her spiraling down. Do I like it? No. Do I respect Whitney for still making me go through that? Fuck yeah!
♠ Mira. Now one might say that Mira is one of the most unlikable character they’d ever had the misfortune of reading. And I would agree with them. But that is also why I liked her so much. Never once (until the end) do you feel like Mira is doing something she would only do if she were to be possessed by the spirit of an angel hell bent on being a good girl now that she had been afflicted by the love virus. And I love that. Her entire character arc developed over the course of the entire story (and then promptly crumbled with that ending, but I’ve already mentioned that). By the beginning of each chapter, you could see her change in tiny little ways, so much so that the end product was always different, but never so much that she was unrecognizable.
♠ Whitney’s writing. Now now, like I’ve already mentioned, this was her first book I had the pleasure of reading, and I have to say, I am sufficiently surprised. The writing was clean, crisp and brimming to the edge with angst. There were moments when I had goosebumps reading it. So definitely, I am really pleased to find another author whose writing style I enjoyed.
Over all? I think the good balances the bad enough that you end up liking the book. Or maybe it’s just me. Who knows?
Do I recommend this book? Definitely go check it out, but I would also suggest waiting until Pieces of Eight is out, so that you get a full conclusive story rather than having to wait a couple of weeks to read it. Because Mira and Six will compel you to wait for them until they are finished telling their tale.
What could I do? Nothing but give him love that was two parts fucked up and one part honest.
About this author:
Whitney Barbetti is really, truly awful at writing in the third person, so we’re just going to change this bio up a bit and write it as first person.
I am married with two boys. When I’m not changing diapers or cutting food into tiny bites, I escape to Starbucks for hours. My blood pressure actually drops the moment I walk in, hear the baristas call my name, and inhale the aroma of coffee beans. And I don’t even like coffee.
I love music and have a playlist for everything. Queen is my very favorite.
I like watching creepy shows when I am home alone but then I instantly regret them once my mind starts breeding irrational fears. I try to channel my fears into my books as a way to cope.
I have about 20 bacon things in my fridge.
—Books in this series—