|Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters|
October 10, 2012
Source: personal ebook purchase
Genre: New Adult
(strong language and mature sexual content)
Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades...normal life.
Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.
Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.
That together, they could face the world.
But the darkness is always waiting.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.
This book really touched me. I loved the author taking on the subject of mental health. Maggie's voice felt very real for a 17 year old. I remember being her age and having to deal with and think about subjects beyond my maturity level and capability to handle. I also remember having completely irrational emotions and reactions to things, so I felt I could relate to Maggie despite her situation being beyond what I dealt with. Her approach to Clay's "issues" and conflicting feelings on how to handle the situations were honest and truthful, though obviously misguided. I liked how the author made me feel like I was in Maggie's head, going through her emotions, fluctuating between logic and reason in one moment, then emotion and wild feelings in the next.
I couldn't help but want to root for Clay and Maggie and their tender love, but also recognized the destructive path they were walking, fearing for what would happen next. Like Maggie, I loved Clay, with his exhilarating highs and exhausting lows. I ached for him to heal and be the 'normal' guy he so desperately wanted to be. I, too, wished Maggie could save him, but knew he needed so very much more, and that love just wasn't enough. I felt like I was at the edge of my seat, completely drawn into their heartbreaking story, watching a train wreck and unable to stop it. I also appreciated that Maggie finally had to face the reality of the situation and stop living in denial about her relationship with Clay and the truth of his 'issues.' Bravo for Ms. Walters' bravery in taking on this dark subject head-on, making us fall in love with these characters, and want to be more empathetic and less judgmental of those suffering around us.
The only downside for me was that despite these being 17 year olds, this book must be dubbed 'New Adult' due to its more graphic and mature sex scenes. If those scenes had been scaled down and some removed, I would have loved to dub this a 'Young Adult' book. I think the subject matter of mental health is a worthy topic for high school students to tackle and learn about, but some of these scenes felt just a bit too much. Perhaps the author could write a more censored version, maintaining the integrity of the topic, just with more editing and filtering of the sexuality (as those scenes definitely read more as adult romance literature, particularly with the mature word choices used), and broaden her audience. Just a suggestion.