Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall on behalf of Kindle Friends Forever.

left behind 6This is the first book these authors have written in the Young Adult category and I must say that I was enthralled from the beginning to the end. Despite the fact that I don’t usually read books aimed at this market, I found this read unputdownable, and highly recommendable for all age groups.

The first thing that caught my attention was the style of writing. If any of you are familiar with these authors, you’ll be taken by surprise. Many sentences are short, even jerky; however, it works to perfection. I really liked how each chapter was told from each of the protagonists’ point of view, too. So how did I feel about these two adorable characters? Well, I fell for them at the drop of a hat! I sobbed my heart out with them, for them. So get a man-size handkerchief ready folks, because you’re going to need it.

Two stories are blended together at a very fast pace. Firstly, we are introduced to Nikki who lives in a trailer (caravan). She knows she can’t stay there, she has no-one. Even though she’s only seventeen, she’s extremely mature her age. Life has been a rough ride, a cruel one. She’s had no choice but to grow up quickly as circumstances were beyond her control. Utterly sad for the loss of someone dear doesn’t make her bitter though. Never fear! She is very fortunate in having an especially close relationship with Ashley, her best friend. I loved Ashley’s personality. A little quirky, quick off the mark and very loving towards Nikki. Nikki makes a discovery which will change her life forever. Not only does she discover that she has an aunt in California, but also someone else who could fill the void. With the help of a grumpy social worker, they find her aunt and she leaves her old life behind.

Zack, Zack, Zack! Where do I start with this adorable lad! He is an example to all. Patient, caring and totally loveable. And totally in love, too! Mind you, he’s been finding Emily a bit exasperating of late. They are the cutest couple in school, and she certainly knows how to live up to it. Over the years, the young girl that had moved in front of his parents’ house has changed. And not for the better! Something Zack could never have imagined happens, and his world comes tumbling down. Wallowing in his grief and guilt, he shuts himself off from the world.

After much cajoling from his parents and his best mate, Keller, Zack starts to pick himself up. There’s a new girl in class. Between glimpses and unspoken words, they cautiously develop a friendship. Both of them have their secrets, yet neither tell. Guess who she is? Sorry, I’m not letting on! It is a matter of fact that she is nothing like any girl he has ever meet before. Intelligent, ignorant to her beauty, and a little wary of her new surroundings, she begins to find some equilibrium in her life. Not all is as it seems and this is why you have to read this amazing standalone book.

The authors’ sensitivities and abilities to handle delicate issues come through strong in all their well-developed characters. I couldn’t find fault in this heart-breaking love story. Yes! My heart was broken; somehow, these two gifted writers managed to piece it together. Ms. Keeland, Ms. Scott…you have my admiration. BRAVO!

Two of my favourite quotes.

“When you’re not around, I’m lonely in a room full of people.”

“It says love needs no words. You had me before you even spoke.”

And how beautiful the quote is on the pic below!



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