My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Righty! This was one of Garrett’s earliest books but, imho, you can’t tell. It’s intricately plotted and paced, it’s angsty, oh lordy is it angsty, but it never turns into too much depressing prose.
Ash has issues, rightly so given his life experiences, and he’s learnt how to just get on. But he’s not really living and Garrett does such a brilliant job with the narrative to show the reader – first by writing from Ash’s POV and then later by how Pete sees him – just how much he is struggling.
Pete, on the other hand, appears on the surface to be all put together, only the occasional bad job in his work as a paramedic making him less than his usual laid back and easy going self. I have to admit, I was surprised by Pete’s later reactions as the plot developed because I’d got so used to him being chill with his life.
The two of them together are gorgeous. The slow build up of trust is given time to develop before they become intimate, there’s no insta-love, insta-sex here.
Now, it’s no secret I am a huge Garrett Leigh fangirl and, for me, it’s because – no matter how bleak her character’s lives may become, or how much trauma they may have experienced in the past – she always shines a light of hope which resonates with me that everyone deserves to love and be loved no matter how dark their existence may have been.
I love her words, I love how she takes broken people and doesn’t make them whole again, no magic dick here, but gives them a support structure they can rely on to move forward.
This book is beautifully painful to read and I loved it. It isn’t a five star read for me simply because – at one point – I wanted to punch Pete so hard it took the edge off. But, then again, it’s realistic, life isn’t all sunshine and flowers and sometimes humans faulter!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I need a breather after this one. Lordy but Garrett knows how to put her characters through the mill.
This book, it’s all about Pete and what he goes through, and it’s not easy reading but the narrative is perfection.
There’s a certain skill in writing about trauma, about tragedy, about mental trials and, for me anyway, Garrett Leigh does it with a finesse which is hard to beat. There’s no drama porn in her work, the tribulations the characters go through are firmly rooted in reality and the ways they deal with them mirror the same.
Throughout this book though, Ash, glorious Ash, is the shining light leading you through the story as he demonstrates what Pete has always known – that he is the strong one.
I loved every bit of this book and I can’t wait to now round off my Ash and Pete experience with Circle.
#ARCs kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review