Alyssa Winters is used to temporary. With an absentee father and a mother with a habit of packing up and moving them from town to town, attachments were always too complicated. When Alyssa and her mother, Lauren, land in South Fort, Lauren insists this is the last move they’ll make, assuring Alyssa that she wants what’s best for her daughter. When Alyssa meets John Jackson and his friends, Ford and Jace, she wants to pull back. She doesn’t want to grow attached to her new friends, but they make it hard for her. Especially John, who she has an unspoken chemistry with. With the boys showing her a good time and others giving her attention, Alyssa wonders if maybe this place will become her home.
When a tragic accident ends a life, John becomes an entirely different person, pushing Alyssa away. With the constant push and pull relationship they endure, their friendship of sorts is anything but simple. Complications flood their lives, making it hard for both of them. With a new career path for John and an unfortunately binding relationship for Alyssa, decisions aren’t easy to make.
Alyssa Winters just might be my favorite heroine characters that Lucia Franco has EVER written. With a traumatic past and a complicated present, growth is necessary for her survival. She’s compassionate but guarded, fun but protective. She’s a hardworking badass who had to go through horrible situations. John Jackson was an amazing hero with incredible character development. His lifestyle was fun and reckless, but he grows into someone who knows life is too short. He becomes the best version of himself.
This story took me a little longer to finish, mostly because I don’t think I was ready for it to end. I identified with Alyssa in more departments than just a name. Her confusion and denial in certain parts of this book made me feel less alone in what I’ve endured, and I appreciated it more than anyone can ever know. There was so much happening in this story, but it was all for good reason. It was beautifully written, and I cried FOUR times. FOUR TIMES! This book was beautifully destructive and heartbreaking with so many moments that I want to Hold On to forever—pun intended.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there aren’t trigger warnings for this book. If you rely on trigger warnings as an anticipatory part of a book, feel free to message me or @viviskingdom before reading this book for more information. This book is in third person, so it may not be your preferred reading style. HOWEVER, I really think you should give it a chance, because it is extremely well written.
This book is everything to me.
If you’re a fan of It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover or Beneath the Surface by Emily McIntire, you should strongly consider adding this book to your TBR!
Looking forward to reading more Lucia Franco in the future! If you’ve read Hold On to Me or plan to, leave a comment below and let me know what you think! XO Lys @alyssasbookblog