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Before I even get into my review of this book, I want to put a disclaimer and trigger warning out there for this book.
The contents of this novel are very emotional, graphic, and dark. Some of the trigger warnings that I think are applicable would be those involving: abuse (physical and sexual), PTSD, depression, and suicide. If you are worried about the topics involved in this novel, be cautious and read other reviews before picking this up.
With that disclaimer aside..
From the very beginning, this novel was an emotional one. I know I should have expected it due to the summary but I didn't expect the intensity of it until I was in the midst of reading.
To review this novel is hard because there was so much going on and so many people dealing with the aftermath of Emilia's attack. That element alone is incredibly powerful as it is realistic. The attack of one person has a ripple effect to those that are in that person's life and not solely the victim of the attack. From Emilia's immediate family to her boyfriend, each are dealing with their own struggles throughout this novel.
This is a powerful novel and if this novel was rated due to importance, it would be receiving a five star rating. I think a lot of people unfortunately go through somewhat similar situations/events. If not, some of the intense emotions could certainly be relatable to many. However, as important as this novel was, I think there was just too much involved that not enough of the issues could be addressed or focused on fully.
Like I said, the attack had a ripple effect on the characters and I appreciated that addition to the story because it is realistic. Yet, at the same time, each of these characters also had other issues going on within their own lives that unfortunately weren't addressed to the degree that it should have been due to the main plot and focus of the novel. I won't go into details in respect to spoilers but some examples would be the relationship between Emilia's parents, Nina's "shopping" problem, and Tomás' struggles. I think all of those things added to the story as a whole but as there was so much going on, not every topic could be addressed or uncovered.
As for Emilia, my goodness. My heart. My heart truly hurt for her through this whole thing. I had no idea how this novel would end because I could not imagine a way that it could end happily. No matter what, she would still be dealing with the aftermath of that attack whether it be through flashbacks or not. I don't know if what happened at the end was intentional or not (I would like to hear some of your opinions) but....my heart truly hurt for her and those that go through similar events.
This was an intense and emotional read. Would I recommend it? It would depend on the individual and how they were feeling at the time. Nevertheless, a very powerful story indeed.
***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review***