Breaking Novaby Jessica Sorensen (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Nova #1
Narrator: Jed Drummond, Stephanie Willis
Published by Forever, Hachette, Hachette Audio on 2013-09-03
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Length: 8 hours and 25 minutes
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she's getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.
Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn't want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he's done, what he's lost. He's sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he's too damaged to get close to her, yet she's the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?
Breaking Nova is certainly not a romantic fairytale. It is a story of how two broken people can be toxic together, how they can fuel the worst types of behavior in themselves, yet still be drawn to the good things that are left in each other. This is not a novel that everyone will be comfortable reading. Heavy issues are addressed and the angst is dark, sometimes oppressive, but their is a glimmer of hope for one of the characters in the end. But it all comes down to the individual finally having enough and building up enough strength to pull themselves up from rock bottom. But they have to hit their own personal rock bottom before they can rise again. I’ve been reading a bit of dark, bleak, angst ridden fiction lately, and this audiobook certainly fit right in with that theme. I enjoyed listening to characters in situations that I know I’ll never be in, and boy, did their reluctant blossoming relationship make my heart ache.
Nova Reed’s life changed one night when her best friend/boyfriend committed suicide during their senior year of high school. She struggles with figuring out why Landon took his life, and she’s still dealing with the trauma of being the one to find his body on that horrible morning. Being away at college has kept her busy, but it hasn’t done anything to lesson the pain of being left behind by the only person that really mattered to Nova. When she comes home for the summer after Freshman year, Landon’s old house across the street is a constant reminder of what she’s lost, so good girl Nova goes with her friend and college roommate Delilah to Delilah’s ex-boyfriend Dylan’s new place. And so begins their downward spiral, but that’s where they meet Quinton Carter.
Quinton has crushing survivor’s guilt, and he drowns his sorrows in pot and booze. When he’s numb, he can almost forget that his girlfriend and cousin died in a car accident that he almost didn’t survive. As his girlfriend was dying in his arms, she made him promise to never love someone as much as he loved her. Even though the accident wasn’t his fault and he was clean and sober back then, Quinton can’t forgive himself for living–and his father and cousin’s family can’t either. When he’s clearly struggling, partying too hard and doing nothing, his father kicks him out of the house, and he winds up living with his cousin Tristan and the drug dealing Dylan. Here he has easy access to drugs and easy girls: the two things that he allows himself as he waits for death to take him away. But he didn’t count on meeting someone like Nova–a girl who’s hurting just as much as he is, but she copes with things by counting and carefully crafted video diaries instead of drugs like him.
Nova is instantly drawn to Quinton the moment she looks into his eyes–the ones that look so much like Landon’s. Quinton is also an artist and she sees the pain he’s trying to hide, so Nova just can’t stay away. But she’s drawn into their world of booze, drugs, and parties, and soon she loses herself to that lifestyle. But their pain never really goes away, not until you really get to the root of the hurt, so who will break down and figure out a way back to the light first?
I loved this story and the audiobook so much that I listened to it almost non-stop at work over the course of a day and a few hours the next day. I immediately loaded up book two and listened to it the entire day too. I just can’t help myself, especially with Jessica Sorensen’s propensity for cliffhangers that make you need the next book pronto.
I give Breaking Nova a four out of five. With broken characters struggling to find their footing and coping any way that they can, this book packs an emotional punch to the gut. It isn’t an easy or comfortable read, dealing with accidental death, drugs, suicide, heavy drinking, and depression. The secondary characters are well fleshed out as well, and you get a decent glimpse into Delilah, Tristan, and less so Dylan.
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobook at Audible: Breaking Nova.
I really enjoyed the back and forth narration of Stephanie Willis and Jed Drummond in this book. Their voices were perfect for Nova and Quinton, and it definitely made it easier to tell who’s point of view the chapter was being told from if I stopped in the middle while listening. Stephanie Willis was able to portray Nova’s sadness and wistfulness perfectly, while Jed Drummond had the sort of sultry, gravelly voice that held barely contained anger when needed for Quinton. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version!
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