The End of All Things Beautiful by Nikki Young
To forgive is to forget…
But not really
Campbell Forester has spent nine years trying to forget the tragic car accident that claimed the life of her friend, Sam. When she and her friends left the scene, their lives quickly crumbled under the weight of the guilt they each carried. Friendships were broken, relationships were destroyed and nothing would ever be the same again.
As Campbell struggles to move on, she builds a wall around herself in a desperate attempt to forget the past. Shutting out everyone around her, she soon realizes the one thing she’ll never be able to do is forgive herself.
That is until her past resurfaces in the form of a letter she never expected to receive. Once again Campbell is forced to confront her past, and the one thing she can’t avoid any longer is the one person she’s never been able to forget.
There were five. But then tragedy happened. Those remaining are drowning in guilt, going through the motions to just get through each day. They put on a mask: living a life of lies and secrets. Could you do this? What’s at risk? Your sanity, your willingness to connect with others. Overwhelming pain was a powerful emotion throughout this read and I felt like I was crawling, searching for the light, wondering if there would ever be such a thing. Campbell escapes her pain temporarily through work and loads of alcohol while Benji lives a secluded lifestyle in the middle of nowhere. The emotions I experienced spoke to me on a deep level and made it difficult for me to turn away. I don’t always need an HEA, but for this story I did. It’s a journey of making things right, moving forward, and remembering, honoring the life those we love lived. Avoiding issues is hard for me, so not having the characters discuss the elephant in the room more promptly was a time of struggle for me. But when it all came out, it flowed seamlessly. This story will be with me for awhile…it’ll give you the feels, for sure! Give this a try and find your next book crush! Rating: 4.5 stars