Bailey Gray is tired of her perfectly planned life. Everything about her life has been organized and lived out to the expectations set of her parents. She is the class valedictorian, has perfect grades, the perfect friends, a perfect boyfriend, basically perfect life…or so everyone thought. That’s when she realizes the path planned isn’t always the path chosen.
On graduation day she makes a decision. One that changes everything she thought she knew about her intended future.
On a whim, she runs away with the town rebel, Dylan Wade, in search of the unknown.
Dylan Wade isn’t looking to run away from anything.
He knows what he wants as he’s been waiting on it for years.
On a journey to find the unknown, they discover a friendship they once knew along the open highway and have not a care in the world. Between the yellow and white lines of the heated summer asphalt, a spark draws them together as Dylan’s past and Bailey future try to ripe them apart.
Could it be that Dylan and his GTO are exactly what her perfectly planned life needs?
Overall Rating: 4/5 — Sweet and inspiring new adult coming-of-age story. It doesn’t hurt that it’s about long lost best friends too.
What would you do for a piece of forever? What would you do to love more, feel more, and live more?
There’s really much to be said about a Shey Stahl novel. Her books are probably some of the books that I’ve highlighted quotes the most and that which gave me a lot of insight about life and some things to later on reflect about as well. She simply does not just narrate a story but actually go behind the scenes and enter deep into the emotion and thoughts of the characters and the moment they live in. And what do you expect from a Shey Stahl novel about a road trip between two destined souls—well a helluva lot of realizations, lingering thoughts, and unspoken emotions.
The blurb says it all and yes, the whole roadtrip thing did remind me of J.A. Redmerski’s Edge of Never but this time around, the characters are former childhood best friends and each other’s first loves who gets their second chance.
“Thinking that way will not only suck the life out of you but you won’t see what’s right in front of you, in the moment. You’re stuck seeing what you’ve always seen. Don’t be that. Be alive, be wide awake, be anything.”
It was a simple story of two souls whose hearts are magnets and whose destinies are to belong to each other forever. And not until they finally found their way back to each other did they start to feel alive and here-in-the-moment again. It was really such a beautiful how they rediscovered and reignited their love for each other that started back when they were just innocent children playing together. Dylan was such a sweet and swoony guy and I cherished all the moments when they were just driving around and he just couldn’t keep his hands off Bailey. The best parts of this story, in my opinion, were their little moments in between the great moments: the simple kiss on the forehead, their little flirty banter, their comfortable silent moment togethers, etc.
Dylan and I weren’t anything anyone else could ever see or hear, or know. For the longest time we were a fraction of a touch in the halls, for just a second. We were unspoken words to leave home. A head nod. We’re the only ones that know what that dent in his door meant or the cracked windshield while making memories.
We weren’t anything we could have been, should have been, or actually were.
We were a unset of rich colors that blend that knew no lines.
It’s really impossible not to love both Dylan and Bailey. I did get a bit annoyed during the last 15% when all hell broke loose but I’m glad that they did eventually find their way back to each other once again. After reading a couple of Shey Stahl novels, I think I see her pattern and writing style and even though I completely adore her in-depth and meaningful way with words, I somehow think that this is what also hindered me from completely being sucked into the story. I really don’t know how to explain it properly but I think with all the explanations and sometimes unnecessary elaborations, I later on lost the feeling of just living the characters’ story as it happens to them. It’s as if she already wrote the way I was supposed to feel and think about a certain moment instead of me discovering the feeling and thoughts by myself as it happened. It may just be me but that’s what I feel anyway. But needless to say, I completely adore her stories and how she inspires with her beautiful way with words.
I’m not sure how to feel about the second book because I’m really, REALLY scared that something extremely bad will happen and I know their whole (view spoiler) scene already made me cry buckets of tears, so I really don’t want to go back to that again int he second book. But I’m giving my full trust to Shey Stahl that she’ll deliver another beautiful and heart-melting story about Dylan and Bailey!
P.S. OH and I loved Jameson and Sway’s cameo as well! 🙂