Note: This ARC was provided by Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
"You're right," Mark said carefully. "Eventually we run out of days, no matter how long we live or how healthy we try to be. But isn't that all the more reason to hold on to the days we have? To really experience them?"
"Why? Say you try to 'really experience' a beautiful sunset. Great. But then it's gone. And it hurts that it's gone, because now you know there's this beautiful thing that will never happen again. So maybe it was better never to have seen it in the first place."
"There are always more sunsets."
"Yeah, but there's never that sunset." Or that one particular human being, the only one who loved you.
There are just some books that you know will stay with you, having brought together main characters that you feel as if you're truly gotten to know and having their heartrending yet inspiring story told in such beautiful prose. I wish I could tell you what was exactly going on in my head right before I began reading Falling Down by Eli Easton, but I honestly can't even recall what it was, with everything having faded away as soon as the author's words met my eyes. And then those words filtered into my mind and my heart and now I'm sitting here still trying to fully absorb everything that I just read and hoping that I can properly relay to you how much this book touched me. This was my very first Eli Easton read and suffice it to say that its impact has left me quite introspective and very moved.
The meager possessions that Joshua Rivers carries within the confines of his duffel bag are the ones that matter most to him. At eighteen and having left behind the house he shared with his stepfather, Josh is making his way north. His mother keeps him company, only, she isn't really with him, not in a physical sense, unless you count the ashes encased and pocketed in his bag. He may look like any other runaway teen, but Josh has a purpose, an end goal that he's headed towards. Then he meets someone who alters the downward spiral he was headed in. Mark Sullivan offers him a job and a place to stay, and worrying about his next meal or how to stay warm as fall turns to winter becomes a possibility. But Josh knows this is all temporary because at the end of it all, he'll be alone...again.
Joining the Marines was meant to prove something to his family--and himself, but twenty-four-year-old Mark Sullivan came home with nothing more than memories he wishes he never made and the feeling that he's no one's hero. Moving to another town and starting his own handyman business was supposed to be nothing more than a temporary pit stop. He isn't exactly sure what direction he's life is going to be headed in, but for now, this'll do. Then he spots a young man whose empty gaze captures Mark's attention. It's a gaze Mark has seen before, and when he finds Josh Rivers at a makeshift camp under a bridge, Mark decides to help. Soon, however, Mark realizes that while he may be able to save Josh from many things, Mark may not save Josh from the darkness within him...
This book was such an introspective read for me, and I found myself thinking about what I would do if I were Josh and Mark and if I had ever been in a situation where I felt as if there was simply no hope or that there was no purpose left for me to keep going on. Both Josh and Mark are going through the motions of their lives before their paths intersect and it's that fateful meeting that leads them on a different journey. Still, they get to a point where they have to make a choice which road to take next, and my heart squeezed in empathy for both of them. These two men stand out as two of the more in-depth main characters I've been privileged to come across this year, and Falling Down is a book I would not hesitate to recommend, earning a place on my list of top reads. Five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 09 November 2016
Date Read: 09 November 2016
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