Between the Lines #4
Release Date: August 29, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Razorbill (UK)
Goodreads Stars: 5
Rating: All Time Favourite
Buy it: Amazon UK
Reid Alexander, Hollywood’s hottest young actor, is completely distracted. And this time it isn’t his latest co-star or a major new film role that’s demanding his attention but something far more life-changing... - Goodreads
My girlfriend hasn't told her parents about me.
After reading Good For You, the third book in this contemporary series, I was dying to get my hands on Here Without You so I could learn more about Reid. The summary on the back of the book is frustratingly vague, so I had no idea what to expect from this one. I certainly didn't expect it to affect me as much as it did, and I wasn't expecting to cry non-stop from page 20 onwards.
If you've read Good For You, then you know that Brooke, Reid's ex, is now looking for the child that she gave away for adoption. Well, in the first couple of pages, the private detective calls Brooke to tell her that she has found the child. Brooke meets up with the detective, and it's revealed that the child - River - has been placed into foster care because his adoptive mother abused him.
Yep, that's right. In her attempt to both get rid of River as a baby, and to give him a better life with a more mature couple, Brooke put him in the hands of someone who would later go off the rails due to her husband's death.
And that's where I lost it. I have a tough time reading about abuse storylines, especially when it comes to children who can't protect themselves. But, thankfully, this book didn't go into too much detail. If it had then this would have been too much for me to handle, along with the emotions I was feeling when Brooke decided to fight for her son.
I was not a fan of Dori or her storyline in this one. In the grand scheme of things, she just didn't feel as important. I would have preferred it if she didn't have a point of view in this book, because I was so invested in Brooke's and Reid's (and, by default, River's) storylines, that I didn't give a crap about hers.
Surprisingly, we're also given an insight into River's head. I thought this was a great idea, and very well done. We got a small glimpse of the abuse he went through, and we also saw his point of view after he met his birth mother for the first time.
I wasn't sure how the adoption of River was going to play out, because, let's face it, Brooke doesn't initially strike you as a fit mother. But throughout the book, she quickly starts to grow and mature for her son, and she is willing to even give up her career for him.
Reid, who I really liked in Good For You, steps up in this one and becomes one of my favourite characters. I love him so much *cries* He deals with a couple of issues of his own, but what takes centre stage is him dealing with the fact that Brooke has found their son, him finally acknowledging that the child is his for the first time ever, and him contemplating being a part of his child's life. I cannot. His character development in this series has been the best thing ever, and I found myself comparing that aspect to that of Logan Echolls, who also goes from being an ass to a hero in Veronica Mars.
Graham and Emma showed up again, albeit only briefly. I hadn't expected them to show up at all, so the couple of scenes that they were in, and the longer scene at the end, were greatly appreciated. It was lovely to know that they were still together, and still in contact with Reid.
Here Without You is a whirlwind of emotions, obviously. I can't go into too much detail on what exactly made me sob, because that would be a spoiler, although if you're curious you can check out my liveblogging on Twitter. I ended up shouting my feelings at Tatum because I was so distraught. I absolutely devoured this book, and it's my favourite out of the series. It's a great ending to (what should have been just a fun series, but damn you, Webber! *cries*) a series that I've been enjoying for much of this year, and it's cemented as one of my all time favourite books, even though it's not a masterpiece. I'm at the point where I would recommend reading the series if only to reach this book, because Reid and Brooke and River will destroy you.