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Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.
When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.
Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.
And there’s only one person who can give that to him…
In Her Wake is an emotional roller-coaster like only Tucker can write them! Meeting Cole before Ten Tiny Breaths was truly amazing, I loved seeing exactly how the accident happened, and how consumed with guilt and sorrow he was during several years.
The fact that Cole was the only one who survived the accident apart from Kacey really hit home on a whole other level when seeing the story unfold from his point of view. Of course, because this novella is kind of like a companion to Ten Tiny Breaths, there are some spoilers from that in this review.
The writing is haunting, and extremely well done. In first person present tense, it’s as if I lived Cole’s story next to him, and his anguish and hurt were so strong my heart felt truly heavy because of it. One thing that was very hard to read about was the fact that Cole truly thought his friend was good to drive, and he didn’t hesitate at all to hand over the keys to his car. Alas, the driver had more alcohol in his bloodstream than Cole had – which made his guilt even more difficult for him.
In Her Wake also shows how obsessed Cole became with making Kacey’s life better, to make sure she wouldn’t suffer through the same survivor’s guilt he did, and that she would truly feel alive once more. Her slippery slope into drugs and sex as a kind of oblivion was just as hard to read about through Cole’s eyes as it was from Kacey’s point of view in Ten Tiny Breaths.
If you enjoy heart-wrenching new adult stories, you should definitely pick up this series, but at least Ten Tiny Breaths should be read before In Her Wake. There is hardly no romance in here, though, just sorrow, guilt and anguish. Cole was in a very dark place, and it’s a wonder it was possible for him to even try to get out of it.
I’ve never played on a team without Sasha. Our entire childhood was all about tossing balls and slapping pucks to each other. We came a sa pair. When we both tried out as walk-ons freshman year, I accepted the idea of not playing if my best friend didn’t also make the team. Never once have I accepted a life without him.
If only they hadn’t stopped for pizza.
If only I had remained at home to study.
If only I had stayed sober like I was supposed to.
If only I hadn’t handed Sasha the keys.
I leave the apartment, drowning in a sea of “if only’s.”
It’s suddenly so clear. The guy Madison loved died in a terrible car crash last April.