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Little Miss Sunshine

I'm a reader and reviewer. But I'm also a writer of ya/na romance. I love interacting with other fellow book lovers like me.

Currently reading

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Light in the Shadows  - A. Meredith Walters


Okay, well I've put off writing my review long enough. It seems when it comes to this series, my emotions will never be the same. These books are just too incredible for words, it's hard to think about them without shedding so many tears. Tears of joy for the outcome of this beautiful story. Tears of heartache for all these beautiful characters had to endure. Tears of sadness for the very fact that this series is over, no more Clay and Maggie. Oh how I'll miss them so much. So. Damn. Much. 

I loved Find You in the Dark. Like LOVED it. I raved about it. I knew it was dark and disturbing when I picked it up. I knew it wouldn't be a fluff or fairy tale kind of story. But as I started it, I was so immersed in the story I didn't care. Clay was such a sick boy, he needed to be saved. And Maggie comes along and falls for him just as the rest of us had. He was mentally sick, yes. But underneath the illness and unstable behavior, he was just a boy trying to fit into the world. His parents didn't show him love, they were ashamed of him because of his illness. Let me talk about that for a minute....

What the fuck kind of parent tells their only child that they're an embarrassment and should be locked away so it doesn't have an effect on how THEY look to the public?? OH MY FUCKING GOD! It's no wonder Clay was ashamed of himself and so fucked up. He had no support from the people who are supposed to love him unconditionally. They made him feel like he was worthless, a fuck up. Well, let me tell you....he was far from a fuck up because in my eyes, he was strong and perfect. It wasn't his fault that he sick. Fucking A those assholes wanted to send him away so they wouldn't have to deal with their son's mental instability. GAH, I'm furious. Just thinking about them makes me want to vomit and then gauge their eyes out.

That said, I won't go into FYitD because if you've read it, you know what happens. I don't have to go into that....though, I will say this book picks up where FYitD left off. Yes, there was a cliffhanger and I was DYING, DYING for the next one. And thanks to Walters and Kim for sending me an ARC of this amazing conclusion. I was so thrilled to get my hands on this gem. It was like a dream come true. I got into it right away and was again, immersed into the whirlwind rollercoaster of Clay and Maggie. It was worth every heartache and tear I shed, and believe me, I shed A LOT of tears. This book met every expectation I had and then some.

The prologue. Oh god, that prologue had me in tears. It was amazing.

"Forgive. Such a small word. Only seven letters but they carried the weight of the world. Seven letters between me and the one thing I wanted most in my life."

*wipes tears*

So Clay is in Florida at the Center getting help. He's been there for almost 3 months. And almost 3 months ago he tried to end his life. Maggie saved him but she had to let him go. He needed more help than she could give him. So now she's at home in Virginia trying to pick up the pieces of her crazy life and move on.

Only one problem....she can't. She loves the only boy who made her life worth living. He showed her how to live, even though he was so sick. When they were together and doing good, they were REALLY GOOD. But things took a turn quickly and it started to become too much for her. After all, she's only 17. How does one handle such a monumental circumstance? She did the best she could and she loved this boy with all her heart and soul, which is why she had to set him free. But she's struggling to let go completely. Deep down she knows they belong together.

"My love for this beautifully broken, yet slowly healing boy, made me strong.... My soul belonged with him, was so entangled in him that I was no longer a single being." -Maggie Mae Young

Tragedy strikes, sending Clay back to Davidson for a funeral. Ah, my heart. My heart was crying for these people. Clay. Ruby. Lisa. So sad.

Clay and Maggie see each other. 

"It was like every time we were together. Our bodies orbited around each other as if pulled by an invisible force that we had no control over. I wanted this. And I wanted to run from it. I wanted to pull her in and never let go. And I wanted to push her away."-Clay

"Seeing him again had only confirmed what my subconscious already knew. I would never move on from Clay. My soul belonged with him, was so entangled in him that I was no longer a single being." -Maggie

The two of them, together again, it was like nothing had changed. Yet everything had changed. But it was beautiful and heartbreaking. Real and hopeful. The whole time, I kept thinking, they have to be together. They have to be. But how are they going to make it work? I had so many fears for them. I was nervous, happy, scared and overjoyed at their reunion. The circumstance which brought them back together was so hard to see. I cried the whole time. Clay had suffered so much yet more shit piled on top and I was so scared he'd relapse. But god, he was so strong compared to FYitD. I was so proud of him. Not to mention, he had a great support...Dr Todd was fantastic in helping with his progress. 

"There’s nothing weak in acknowledging when things are greater than you.” -Dr Todd

There were times he'd have a panic attack and had to calm himself, fight his demons because he so badly wanted to give in and give up, and cut himself so he wouldn't feel the pain anymore. But with the steps he remembered from treatment, he overcame the urge to give in. I was sooooo proud of him. His struggles were so real and heartbreaking. I felt everything he went through. I loved that we got his POV. Thank you Walters for writing it that way. I don't think I would have felt his heartache and emotions so clearly if we didn't have his POV, and to be honest, I wouldn't have felt so connected to him either. I actually don't think it would have worked at all without it. Some books are mandatory for both MC's POV and this was one of them. I cried when he cried, I felt happiness when he did, I felt his fears, sorrow, guilt, love, loss and grief so deeply that I couldn't concentrate on anything else while I was reading it. This book both shattered my heart yet healed my soul. 

I loved Daniel and Rachel so much in this book. At first they pissed me off when they kept urging Maggie to move on and get over Clay. I wanted to punch them in the face a few times. But I also understood they were just looking out for their best friend. They saw what she went through the first time. Hell, they went through it with her. I admire them for being such amazing best friends. But once things with Clay and Maggie started up again, they backed off. And then....Daniel made me cry.

“Look, man. I know I haven’t been the most… uh… supportive of you and Maggie. And I’m still not sure how I feel seeing the two of you all up in each other’s asses again. But, I know you’re a decent guy. So for now, I’m reserving judgment." 
“Okay, so that sounded way assier than I meant it to. What I’m trying to say, is I know you’re dealing with shit. A lot of shit by the looks of it. And for Maggie’s sake… well… and yours too, I won’t be the speed bump on your road to the candy castle or whatever.” -Daniel Lowe

He really tried to be friends and give Clay the benefit of the doubt. I loved him for that. It made my heart happy to see them getting along. Things between Maggie and Clay couldn't have been more rockier or intense. But when they were together, it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Maggie was so supportive and the fact that she agreed to go to therapy with Clay just made me cry with happiness for them. They wanted to really make it work this time. Clay went to great lengths to change and be the man he felt she deserved. Maggie went to great lengths to show the boy she loved with everything she has that she would support him no matter what. And she really grew in this one. She didn't stand down when he occasionally lashed out at her or cower to him. She stood up and made him see she wasn't going anywhere this time. It was just...perfect. Beautiful. God, I love them so much. These two endured so much yet they overcame it and came out stronger in the end. My heart is so full of emotion when I think about these books. Walters portrayed such a tough subject so real and raw, you could feel the realism in your bones. It was as if you were experiencing it yourself, which in a way you were. Walters has an amazing gift. 

I'll never forget this story as long as I live. Clay and Maggie will FOREVER live in my heart and I will take them with me to my grave and never forget them. I love them so much. I cried for over 30 minutes when I finished reading this book. I was glad to have read it and experience it, but was so sad to say goodbye to my favorite fictional couple.

The ending. Oh god, that ending had me in a weepy mess. So amazing and wonderful and bittersweet. Oh Clay, how I love the fuck out of you.

“Over six years ago I met a girl who saved me. I didn't realize at the time, mostly because her attitude pissed me off, that she would become the most important thing in my life. But then I got to know her and when I was drowning, she became my air. In the cold, she became my warmth. In the dark, she became my light,”-Clayton Reed

Oh Clay, I'll never, ever forget you. You've ruined all other fictional boys for me. You'll forever be in my heart and I'll love you for all eternity. *wipes tears*

"For a guy who struggled with finding his place in the world, standing next to Maggie, I understood one thing on a very fundamental level. Wherever she went, whatever she did, that is where I belonged." 

If you haven't read these books, you really need to. These books are phenomenal and it shows that love is above all the most important thing in life. Thank you Walters for writing such an extraordinary series that will forever live in my heart. 

I got to interview Mrs. Walters so it will be on my blog for the blog tour.