“I guess sometimes you have to lie to find the truth.” ― Scott Westerfeld
Wow, this book is all that I expected, and more. Having read the first book, Special Needs, I was left hanging by a cleverly done cliffhanger. To say I was excited to finally get to finish Liam and Ryan’s story is an understatement. I was curious to see where their relationship was going, especially after Ryan’s little secret was out of the bag.
If you haven’t read the first half of this story, this review will most definitely contain spoilers, it can’t be helped. So, do yourself a favor and go read the first book. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
This book starts right where the first one ends. Almost like the two books were one, just split in half. I’m so thankful there wasn’t an entire recap. For one, it wasn’t needed. This was such a unique story, the reader isn’t likely to forget what he/she read from the first book. I say this is a unique story because the authors chose to write about a subject that I’ve never heard about before, Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID. I was fascinated by the whole concept of this disorder, and I really enjoyed watching how the main two characters dealt with it.
From the moment Liam finds out Ryan’s had the capability to walk, it was a struggle for both of them. Liam just can’t understand Ryan’s need to be in a wheelchair. He feels hurt and betrayed, and like he’s been lied to this whole time. Ryan, on the other hand, wants to be the best boyfriend ever and does what Liam wants him to do—walk. It’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.
I really liked how the authors gave us each of the main characters POV. On the outside Ryan is keeping up the facade that all is well, when actually he’s drowning on the inside, little by little. Liam doesn’t realize what an effort it is for Ryan to stay out of his chair, and thinks Ryan is doing great. I was frustrated with these two at this point. I wanted Ryan to tell Liam what he was going through, how hard this was for him. He never lets on how he really feels. Liam, on the other hand, was really trying to help, and at one point even asks for his brother’s advice. I believe his heart was in the right place, but he doesn’t truly understand Ryan’s situation. Lack of total communication. Instead of feeling like something the authors dragged out to prolong the drama, I saw this as a natural progression of their relationship. They both tried to put the other one first.
Now, while all this inner dialog is going on between the two, their relationship is just so loving, and a little on the kinky side. They love their light BDSM and role playing. These two were just destined to be together, two of the sweetest characters I’ve read in a long time. They both made me laugh at some of the things they did and said. Despite the underlying seriousness of the issues they are dealing with, we see them share some heartwarming and tender moments.
There is a moment in the story which I felt was a big eye opener for both of them. It was a bit of a shock for me, but given the way Ryan was feeling and the pressure he felt he was under, it wasn’t a huge surprise the story would go the way it did. In a way, I felt it had to happen to give these two a dose of reality. Things couldn’t have gone on the way they were for too much longer without repercussions. I’m not going to give it away here; let’s just say, it took my breath away, but brought everything full circle. I believe the authors handled this so well, with such care. It was definitely a make-or-break situation for these characters.
This story is a melting pot of emotions, for the characters as well as the reader. It was a pleasure going on this ride with Liam and Ryan. I won’t forget them anytime soon.