THIS IS NOT FORGIVENESS by CELIA REES.
A giveaway win courtesy of Vivienne @ Serendipity Reviews, you can see her review of the novel by clicking HERE.
Caro: She's beautiful, impulsive. And trouble.
Jamie: He wanted her to notice him. Can't believe she did.
Rob: Back from Afghanistan. Wounded. Secretive. Out of reach. Except with Caro. he lets her in.
Over the course of one summer, their lives collide and entwine with dangerous results.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): I can't decide what to do with your ashes.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 174): ........ and Jim wanted to know about him so I'd tell him stories - adventures with Dad as the hero. I ain't much good at making things up so I lifted stuff from films - Andy McNab - whatever. Jim sucked it all in - eyes wide. He wanted a hero so I gave him one.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Probably one for the shelves.
A bit of a difficult start, told by three different characters, Caro, Jamie and Rob, I confess that I was a tad confused as to just who was narrating but problem solved, I soon discovered that each of the three had their own type face - Jamie told his story in your average font, Rob's his in bold print and Caro hers in italics.
A truly dark read, all of the characters had issues that should have made me feel a little empathy for them, that should of perhaps made me more understanding of why they were the people they were and yet I just didn't feel any of this ..... at least not for two of the characters.
Caro and Rob - two individuals I felt to be almost without redeeming features. OK so both had had a tough time of it BUT I still failed to understand them and though Rob's problems could have been laid firmly at the door of the army, the more I read of him, the more I came to realise that his difficulties began much further back.
As for Caro? Partly manipulated by a crowd she so wanted to be part of and, I felt, partly rebelling against parents who couldn't really care less, I did come to like her a tiny little bit more towards the end when I think she began to realise just how deeply she had come involved.
And finally, Jamie. The only half-way likable character and yet I still didn't warm to him. Naive in the extreme, a bit hard of me I know, but a lot of the time I just wanted to tell him to grow a backbone.
A story of adjustments, of discovering yourself, this is a topical read that often left me with a bad taste in my mouth and yet there was something so totalling compelling about it that I found myself reluctant to put it down.