"Want something? Pax will take it from you. Love something? Pax will destroy it. Love him? Then Heaven help you. You’d have to be the stupidest person to walk the face of the earth."
Callie Hart is rapidly becoming one of my go to authors. This woman knows how to write angst and fucked up situations and turn them into beauty. I did not expect to like this book as much as the other ones. Mainly because on book 1 and 2, I hated Presley. I felt her character was either misunderstood or her friends really saw her as the weakest link which didn't sit well with me. Her book completely changed my mind about her. Presley is a strong woman who had to deal with terrible consequences and her attitude towards life was heavily guarded because of her experiences. I am glad that I gave her story a chance because it threw me off a loop and gave me the best conclusion to this wonderful series.
We are back in the Riot House, only this time we are getting Presley and Pax's story. It does not follow the events of Mara's death like Book 1 and Book 2 did which was refreshing. It has a completely unique timeline for these unique characters. We soon find out that Pax really is the Riot House boy with the most issues. His mother is a piece of work and he learns early in the book that she is suffering from Leukemia. As he visits her mother at the hospital, Presley is dropped off in the entrance of the hospital with slit wrists and barely surviving. He does CPR until she finally awakens and is rushed into the operating room. She survives, but something snapped that night that made her into a completely different and stronger human.
“The path of least resistance doesn’t always mean taking the easiest option. Sometimes…it means that your soul finds its way home, toward something it loves, after you’ve held it back for too fucking long. So…do with that what you will, I guess.”
It was really hard to see both characters suffer due to third parties being involved. Presley's story with her half brother and rapist is completely torture. It is very heavy so do read this book and check the TW first. I was amazed by the author's development of the issues and how she was able to get Presley's victim persona out of the way and turn her into someone strong who had suffered from something great.
I really enjoyed the love story that formed between the characters and Pax's humor made me laugh so many times. I found him so incredibly interesting and deep and just like Presley I wanted to unwrap all his secrets and his cold behavior. Some of my favorite scenes were at the end where we get Pax really trying to be a boyfriend yet still be himself, so it was HILARIOUS. The last scene with the boy melted my heart.
"I have to talk to her about it? Do I ask her to be my fucking girlfriend?" Pax's inner monologue was pure gold.
Overall rating: 5 stars