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Still Beating

Rating: 5 Stars

"We are bound, chained, tied -- to our trauma and to each other."

When Cora attends her sister's birthday party, she expects at most a hangover or a walk of shame. She doesn't anticipate a stolen wallet, leaving her stranded and dependent on Dean--her archnemesis and ultimate thorn in her side. And she really doesn't anticipate waking up in shackles in a madman's basement. To make matters worse, Dean shares the space in his own set of chains. After fifteen years of teasing, insults, and practical jokes, the ultimate joke seems to be on them. The two people who always thought they'd end up killing each other must now work together if they want to survive. But Cora and Dean have no idea their abductor has a plan for them. A plan that will alter the course of their relationship, blur the line between hate and love, and shackle them together with far more than just chains.

Alright where do I even start with this one. I will admit that I purchased this book with zero idea what it was about because some friends were discussing how great it was. And they were not wrong. I went into this book blind and I was invested from the very beginning. I loved the author's style. I liked that we got Cora and Dean perspectives. I thought it was super cool to show flashbacks of the last 15 years they had known each other. Honestly, I can't think of anything that I didn't love about this book. It was a beautiful gut-wrenching story about trauma and healing and the author did such a beautiful job of highlighting these different elements.

I think it was easy to connect with both of these characters, and the flashbacks helped to better understand their dynamic. The trauma these two endured together was heartbreaking and watching them try and find their way out was emotional. I couldn't put this book down, even after all the myriad things that were thrown at these two... I needed to know how the story ended. If you are in the mood for a book that is going to shake you and make you feel this is the one. Just know it is intense and you should check the trigger warnings on this one.

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