by Elizabeth Miceli
Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.
But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book in exchange for honest review. Also, I did not read the first book yet, though I genuinely wish I had. This bok has themes that would not be appropriate for anyone below the ages of 18+, although the publisher would say 16+.
Sheesh! Talk about intense. Stacey is . . . a bit of a mess. The first several chapters had me wondering if Stacey would make up her mind about a few things. She just seemed a little scattered, and I suppose that is expecting, when thinking of her history from the year before. This book was tough to read. Stacey definitely has a good heart; she may have issues is troubled, but wouldn't you feel out of sorts if something terrible had happened to you? I know I would.
Like I said, this book was tough to read. I read the warning at the beginning of the book and got worried that reading this book would trigger me, but it didn't. When Jesse entered the story, I was hooked. Jesse's character is very different, but also very familiar. Confident, cocky, reckless (maybe), but really sweet and caring as well. The story switches to his perspective for a while and it was so perfectly executed.
I must admit that I have never read a book with this much drug use in it. I mean, I think I have, but not quite portrayed like this.
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars.
Something tells me the story is not over yet. But until then, I feel as though it ended really well, in this book. I plan to go back and check out the first book ASAP, because I want to see how Stacey became who she is in this book.
"Jesse, stop! I’m fine!” I tried to convince him. I hoped if I convinced him I was fine, he would let me have the drugs. I really didn’t want him to take the coke. I needed it to function.
“No, you’re not, Stacey.” He wasn’t yelling anymore. He was pleading, kneeling down in front of me. “Please, just stop. For me.”
“Why, though?” I looked into his eyes, watching tears start to run down his face. “Don’t cry, Jess.”
“I love you, Stacey. But, I can’t watch you become this dependent. When I was with you and your family”—he hiccupped, and inhaled loudly—“I realized how stupid we were being. You’ve had a hard past. I know all about it, and I am so sorry that happened to you. But I feel horrible because your family trusts me, and I’m fucking giving you coke to help you with your anxiety. I’m not helping you; I’m making it worse. I love you so much, and I can’t bring you down anymore.”
Watching him cry made me want to lock myself in my dorm room and never come out. I wanted to stay with Jesse and just focus on each other. I cried with him, beginning to understand how he felt.
“You’re not making it worse,” I sobbed into his chest, leaning down to be closer to him. “I love you.” He looked at me; one stray tear trickled down ever so slowly.
About the Author
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a Human Development and Family Studies major and a Psychology minor. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home. Goodreads | Twitter