Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Launch Day Blitz: Saving Quinton, by Jessica Sorensen

Nova Reed can't forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him . . . before it's too late.

 Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere . . .

I suddenly realize that I’m in my room. Awake. And Nova’s here. With me. My thoughts start racing as I try to recollect what happened. I was planning on those guys beating me to death. Why didn’t that happen? Because it was too easy? Do I deserve not to be let off so easy—do I deserve worse than death? But if that’s true then why’s Nova here?
“What are you doing here?” It’s painful to talk, but I force the words to leave my mouth. “Or am I dreaming?”
She repositions her hand on my cheek, but doesn’t pull away, the startled look in her eyes diminishing. “You’re not dreaming…you were unconscious but…are you okay?” She seems nervous and it reminds me of how innocent and good she is, and how she shouldn’t be here in the crack house that I call home.
“Why are you here?” I ask, my voice feeble as I try to sit up, but my arms aren’t working and I fall right back down on the mattress.
“I came here to see you,” she replies, absent-mindedly touching her lips, and I wonder if I really kissed her or if I was imagining it.
She stares at me with her fingers on her lips and it’s uncomfortable because she’s really looking at me. I’ve been so used to people looking through me, as if I were a ghost, seeing the drugs, the person that I am now, the worthlessness all over me, instead of who I used to be. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be really looked at and for a split second I enjoy it. Then she looks away and I feel like I’m dying, my brain registering the pain in my legs, arms, chest—everywhere. And I’m crashing. Badly. My hands start to shake, my heart rate picking up as soon as I realize this.
“Go put some ice in a plastic bag,” she says, snapping her fingers at someone.
I hear a mutter and then Tristan steps into my view. He glances down at me and the haziness in his eyes lets me know he’s high on something, but I’m glad he’s at least here and it doesn’t look like he’s been beaten up. “Dude, you look like shit,” he tells me with a dopey-ass grin.
“I feel like shit,” I mutter, managing to get my hand up to my face to rub my eyes. “You look like you got away.”
“I did, and you should have run with me, you dumbass…I thought you were for a while until I realized I was alone.” Tristan chuckles under his breath. “Wait until you see yourself in a mirror.”
His amusement seems to piss Nova off and she gets to her feet, tugging the bottoms of her shorts down, fury burning in her eyes. “Go get a fucking bag to put the ice in,” she says, not yelling, but her tone is cold, abrupt, harsh, and she sort of shoves him. This isn’t the Nova I remember at all and she kind of scares me.
She seems to scare Tristan, too, who surrenders with his hands in front of him and backs toward the doorway. “Fine. Jesus, Nova. You don’t have to get crazy about it.”
“You haven’t even begun to see me get crazy,” she snaps, pointing at the door. “Now go get a damn bag.”
After Tristan leaves, she turns to the doorway and says, “What am I going to do?”
I can’t see who she’s talking to and it makes me wonder who the hell is in here. Delilah? I doubt it, since I don’t think she’d be asking Delilah that question.
“I don’t know,” someone replies. I still can’t see who it is, but I can tell the voice belongs to a female and I hate how excited I get over the fact that Nova’s not here with a guy.
Suddenly a girl with black hair and big blue eyes steps in. “He looks…” She assesses me, then looks at Nova. “He looks like he needs to go to a hospital.”
“No hospitals,” I croak. “I don’t have the cash to pay for that.” And I don’t deserve to heal so easily. I should suffer for getting up and running away from my death.
Nova stares down at me with reluctance. “Quinton, I really think you need to go to a hospital.” She kneels back down on the mattress, sweeping her long brown hair to the side as she leans over me. Her fingers gently enfold my wrist and, moving slowly, she bends my arm so I can get a good view of my hand. It’s twice the size it normally is and my skin is purple and blue. Even where her fingers are, the skin is swollen and raw, and it seems like her touch should hurt, but all I can feel is heat—her heat. God, I’ve missed her heat. I’ve spent the last year wrapped up in coldness, feeling the numbness of drugs and sex with random women and now she’s here and I feel like I’m burning up.
“It’s just a bruise,” I say, not looking at my hand, but at her. I want to hold her, hug her, kiss her, touch her, but I also want her to go away. Stay. Leave. Right. Wrong. Lexi. Nova. Guilt.
It was all your fault.

4 out of 5 stars

Since the moment I finished Breaking Nova I couldn't wait to get my hands on book #2.  As soon as the ARC came across my kindle I immediately dove in.  I needed to know what happened to Nova and Quinton.  Was she able to stay clean and start living, does she ever forget about Quinton and the summer that changed her life?  Is Quinton still struggling with the guilt of his car accident, is he still using, does he forget about Nova?  Will these two ever get past their demons and have a chance at true happiness not only as individuals but will they give in to the chemistry and draw towards one another and become the great couple we so desperately want them to be?

I'm going to start by saying this book is not an easy read and if you thought  Breaking Nova was dark it has nothing on this sequel.  It's been almost a year since Nova chose to turn away from drugs, move forward from Landon's suicide and take back control of her life.  After confessing to her mother and getting the help she so desperately needed she went back to college a stronger person.  While at school Nova connected with Lea, who is not only her best friend and roommate but someone who looks out for her, making sure she doesn't get in too deep and relapse.  She volunteers at a suicide hotline and finds comfort in being able to help others because while she may be better emotionally she is still haunted by the fact she wasn't able to help Landon.  She has also found a passion in making videos and entries from herself have become therapeutic.  However, while she has so many good things going for her now she still cannot get Quinton Carter out of her mind.  He saved her, made her feel alive and she wants to return the favor.

If we thought Quinton was struggling in book #1 we were mistaken because it was only the tip of the iceberg.  A year later and things have gone from bad to worse.  Now living in Las Vegas he's dealing and using harder drugs and lots of nameless women to drown out the memories always haunting him.  While he knows eventually this lifestyle will be the death of him, he gladly welcomes it and even wishes for it.  But the good guy, the one from before the accident, he's still buried deep within and we see glimpses of him as he tries to get his cousin Tristan to clean up his life.  Quinton feels responsible for Tristan and is always looking out for him, trying to keep him safe.  And even though his life is in a constant drug induced high he cannot get Nova Reed off of his mind.  So what happens when she shows up on his doorstep mere minutes from almost being beaten to death?

I really feel Nova grew so much between the first book and this one.  I liked seeing her as a strong, confident young woman.  I respected her drive to help Quinton and even more so when she walked away, albeit forced strongly, because she was in too deep.  This wasn't an easy journey for Nova and it isn't going to be an easy one to read, but I honestly think that's the point.

Saving Quniton really drives home the point that drugs are evil and when they get a hold of another person absolutely nothing or no one is going to be able to force an individual to give them up, that's got to come from the user.  They have to want to be saved and Quinton, who wishes he had died with Ryder and Lexi, doesn't want to be saved.  He feels responsible for ruining so many lives and thinks his punishment should also be death.  He also doesn't think he deserves having people who love him, which includes Nova, even though she has the power to make him feel things the drugs never will.  Nova is really the only person he truly wants in his life, but who he will force out because he doesn't want to disrespect Lexi and because he thinks she deserves more than he will ever be able to give.

I'm going to say it again, the Nova series is definitely not a love story.  Yes, it's obvious these two have chemistry and would make an incredible couple, but it's not that easy or simple.  This series is about struggling, dealing with guilt, finding redemption, choosing to survive, choosing to live life and through all this you'll find yourself hoping they will both eventually make the decision to leave the darkness behind, live life in the light and eventually find even more happiness in one another!

Well done Jessica Sorensen for writing another gut wrenching installment in the lives of Nova and Quinton!  Honestly, Jessica has written this story in a way that you cannot help but feel each of the characters struggles and emotional turmoil.  This story is at times frustrating and depressing, but every now and then we get a glimpse into what these two could be like if they could ever break the chains holding them back.  I'm glad I stumbled upon this series and while this wasn't a typical feel-good book and the ending definitely leaves things unsettled I'm looking forward to book #3.

About Author Jessica Sorensen
Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family. 

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