|Wide Open by Shelly Crane|
(Wide Awake #2)
January 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
(contains: sexual and drug references)
Source: eARC from author for Honest review
Milo is trouble.My Review:
He lives it, breathes it. He embraces anything that numbs and takes his mind somewhere else, a world where his mother is herself and not just a shell, and his brother didn't almost kill her, severing any relationship they had. But more importantly, Milo drowns out the guilt for leaving his mother and not being able to forgive his brother. He drowns his pride and moves on to another girl and another party, pretending that life isn't moving on around him and he's stuck in the same place. He's stuck in the past and doesn't know how to let go.
Maya is trouble.
She's done the party scene and has had her fair share of close calls and handcuffs. Not the kinky kind. She's so over it all and fought like hell for that life to let go so she could move on. She now works as a teen counselor. Her life is better, but her life is empty. She has no one but her brother in the whole world left and he's sick with a disease that no medicine can cure.
When they meet, a romance that scares them both emerges, but the love you fight for is the love that can mend bridges, heal scars, and open closed hearts. They'll need each other, they'll want each other, they'll have each other.
But will it all come too late?
Wide Open is my favorite of the Wide Awake series. Here we finally get the completed story of Milo, Mason's younger brother. In Milo's story, Shelly Crane moved into territory I haven't read from her before and I felt like she did a really great job looking at the different aspects of addiction. She didn't glamorize it or over-sensationalize it. She made Milo and Maya's struggles feel real, relatable, and relevant. They didn't feel like people with completely abstract problems. I could empathize with what they were going through and I was touched by their journey.
Even though we met Milo in less than ideal circumstances in Wide Awake, we knew deep down he could do better in his life, he was just very, very lost. In the beginning of Wide Open, he is still very, very lost. But the hope infused throughout the story is very well played out, as well as all the doubts, insecurities, confusion, and self-loathing that would also be very prevalent in Milo's situation. Yet through it all we get to see the great guy that he is when given hope and a chance at redemption.
As for Maya, her situation with her family is also heartbreaking. She is such a sweet, giving character, but she too has her demons. I loved how Milo and Maya brought out the best in each other. I felt their connection and chemistry right away. And though they had their personal struggles, it was so nice to see them battle for each other. They were definitely made for each other. Despite their pasts and struggles, they held onto hope and you can't help but root for them.
I also enjoyed the infusion of other family members, specifically Maya's brother Will, and of course, Mason and Emma. I was touched deeply by their interactions and how the story and circumstances progressed and played out. It was all beautifully done. Again, I felt like Crane did a fantastic job bringing these people, their hardships, but also their hope to life. I'm a bit sad that this is the last of this series, but I genuinely liked all the books, and Wide Open is my favorite of the bunch.
SERIES READING ORDER AND LINKS: