Izzy’s world is spiraling out of control and she feels she has no one to lean on. Her friend Grace is caught up with her new girlfriend and her mother is too scared to listen to Izzy’s fears about her stepfather David. So when things start to go really badly for her, she has nowhere to turn. David’s behavior is getting more erratic and there is nowhere for her to turn.
David is a typical gaslighting abuser, who has ulterior motives in everything he says and does. Things have to be David’s way or all hell breaks loose. He’s controlling, verbally abusive, and he’s starting to act beyond inappropriate with Izzy bordering on sexual abuse. The lingered touches are just the beginning for her.
Izzy’s mother is a typical abused wife, in that she doesn’t want to rock the boat. She’s been at the mercy of David’s abuse more times than they can count, so she knows what speaking up can do. Sadly, because she’s in this position, it means that Izzy’s needs are often ignored in favor of appeasing David. I wanted to hate her mother for her clear neglect of Izzy’s emotional needs, but you can’t hate a person for being in that situation and doing what they can to get through the day.
As far as Grace, she’s not that great of a friend. Some of it is indeed Izzy not sharing what is really going on at home, but a lot of it is Grace being self-involved. I do understand that Izzy has created a bit of a codependence situation with Grace and she doesn’t know how to take care of herself. So the friendship feels very one-sided. Grace does earn a shot at redemption as we’re nearing the end of the book, and she does it well.
Izzy has such low self-esteem, it stems from years of David’s abuse, keeping her down. A person that goes through this isn’t going to carry their head tall, and that’s so evident in the situations Izzy finds herself in. I loved watching Izzy blossom when she was away from David and she found someone who sees the light that shines deep from within. This is a great book for any reader, sufferers or not will find value in Izzy’s situation and the hope that there can be something better in life. Well done.
For now you can read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub as I received this as a very early ARC from One World Publications, but it is available for preorder on Amazon for $4.99, it releases February 6, 2020.