Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood, #1) by Trisha Wolfe ~ Review

Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.

Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?

When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.

On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her. 




The Darkest Part is the first book I've read by Trisha, and it's been sitting on my kindle for a while now. I can assure you right now that I will definitely be reading more of Trisha's books ASAP, and that I am currently kicking myself for taking so long to pick this book up. Simply put, this book is stunning.

What stood out the most to me at first was the writing. Trisha Wolfe has some darn gorgeous writing. The way she weaves the story, it tore at my heartstrings while wheeling me in closer and closer to the characters and plot until I literally could not put the book down. I lost sleep, I ignored my people, and pretty much devoted my entire life to the story of Sam and Holden. It was intense, it was beautiful, and I loved every single second.

Sam has issues. The stem of these issues is her boyfriend dying. She's having trouble dealing, and that's perfectly understandable. The way she acted and reacted was all understandable to me, and I really liked Sam. I cared about her way more than I anticipated, and I read this whole novel hoping so hard that she'd be able to move on and be happy. I had complete faith that she'd be able to--she's a strong character.

Holden has his own issues. These involve his brother's death, but there's a lot more to his past that's weighing on him, too. He's a seriously good guy, and he won me over super quick. Since the book is in dual POV, we got to be in his head, which was a very, very good thing. There was such bait for me to side-eye him for a while, but being in his head? Seeing how great he is? I adored that boy throughout the entire book.

Their story is a heavy one. It brought on so many feels, but in a way that led me on to reading more and more instead of making me wish I could look away. Every aspect pulled me in until I was flying through this book...and then it was over. And my heart was happy.

Overall, The Darkest Part is now one of my absolute favorite New Adult books. Sam and Holden--and their romance that set my heart all kinds of aflutter--were characters I was invested in. Their story was entrancing. And I loved it all, the whole way through. Seriously, y'all. This book is amazing.


I have loved everything I have ever read by Trisha Wolfe and this books was no exception.  I was a little nervous with the topic but I shouldn't have worried.  Instead, I should have trusted Trisha's writing and her character development.  Her characters make choices that make sense with who they are.  Love that.

Perhaps I shouldn't have started this on a school night - because I had to force myself to put it down and try and sleep - heavy on the try part.  This book was devoured quickly despite the interruptions that sleep tried to claim.  It's for sure I would have read it straight through if my schedule had allowed.

The characters are the best part of this story.  I love great characters.  Sam is struggling with the death of her boyfriend, Tyler.  She's can't let go of Tyler and her reactions make sense for what she's going through.  She's tough but this experience is ripping her apart.  Hiding in her room at her parents house for days on end and pulling away from her life and friends is exactly what someone like this would do.  As she tries to deal with her perception of what is happening to her, her family tries to help her to no end.  Instead she finds her own way.  And that way is not easy or quick.  She must come to terms with not only what happened to Tyler but things from her past.  What I really loved about Sam was that she proves the point that changes don't happen until you decide you want them.  Watching her work through that process was emotional but not hopeless.  I wasn't ever sad reading this book.  I never thought I couldn't deal with it.  No, I was on her side hoping she would find her way.  She got to me.  I loved her.  I hoped for her.

Even more than Sam, I loved Holden.  He has condemned himself as the bad guy.  He has loved Sam since he was in high school but he broke her heart.  It wasn't his idea to do that but Holden has always tried to protect those he loves.  He tried to protect his mother and his brother but no matter how hard he tried or how much he scarifies, he loses them both.  He blames himself.  He doesn't feel like he deserves Sam but he is so wrong there.  He is was she needs.  She is what he needs.  But their journey isn't easy or quick.  It's real.  When all the secrets are revealed, I loved Holden so much.

The ending was perfect.  I worried some that there would be no way for things to work for these two but a few surprises brought the story to exactly where I hoped it would go.  While I did figure out one of the twists, others were complete shocks.  And when I turned the last page, I was happy.

If you love NA but wonder if they will all be the same, then this book needs your attention because this NA is unique.  If you love romance that is emotional and real, then this book needs your attention.  If you just love a good story, then this book needs your attention.  Don't miss this one!

About the Author...

From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fantasy worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fantasy worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent reviews, ladies! I've been wanting to read this after enjoying Destiny's Fire, and I love NA books with feels. Trisha is a sweetheart!