Seventeen-year-old Maddie Davis has spent her whole life on the move. With an unstable mother who has a knack for making bad decisions, she’s never stayed in one place long enough to remember its postcode. But this time is different… This time, she has been dragged half way across the world. Arriving in California and being forced to go back to school feels like stepping back in time. She wants to go home…
Until she meets Blaine Elwood – the stepson of an old family friend.
Blaine appears to have it all. To the outside world, quarterback Blaine is rich, confident and has the ‘arrogant bad boy’ image down to a tee. But nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. Nobody ever can. He has vowed never to let anyone get too close – let anyone discover how weak he is. So when new girl Maddie starts tugging at strings he didn’t know existed in his heart, his only option is to push her away…
Until he realizes how much he needs her.
Together, after being forced into adulthood from an early age, they begin to learn what it feels like to be young – to smile, to laugh… to love. So when shattered secrets and splintered lies start unraveling around them, will the trust they’ve worked so hard to build be irreparably destroyed? Or will they realize they are two pieces of the same broken puzzle?
I’m in complete awe of Nicola Haken’s bravery as an author. She pushes boundaries and doesn’t always stick with the safest path, She discusses the uncomfortable topics and does so in a way that draws you in, makes you hold your breath and cling to her words. Every single one of her books has left me in utter disbelief at one point or another. Missing Pieces is no different, except I do believe I may actually be a bit traumatized at how severe and twisted some of the storyline in this book is. Does this make it a bad read? Absolutely not, as I’ve said before…Nicola Haken has found her way into my heart and I love all her books thus far including Missing Pieces. This book is pretty heavy and though I’ve read all her published work so far, this is probably the most disturbing book for a number of reasons. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen by the end of this book, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of impending doom. Was I right? You’ll have to judge for yourself…yeah, some things you just have to experience on your own and I won’t give away the ending.
The book is about two relatively young adults Maddie and Blaine, both are seventeen and seniors in high school. They’ve grown up incredibly fast and taken on roles unsuitable for the typical high school student. Their home life is pretty screwed up and they end up leaning on one another as they learn more about each other.
Blaine is the star football player and all the girls at school want a piece of him. He’s got a reputation for being a womanizer – a love ‘em and leave ‘em guy, but when Maddie moves to America and is forced upon him by his stepmom, he tried everything in his power to push her away. She gets under his skin and he doesn’t like feeling that way. Maddie can’t figure Blaine out and is stuck trying to figure out why he is so hot and cold. As Blaine and Maddie grow closer, secrets they’ve tried to keep hidden begin to unravel. Soon they begin to need one another. They rely on one another to get through the many traumatic and heartbreaking events of this book. Blaine fears his secrets will only push Maddie away. While he longs to keep her in his life he knows it will only bring pain upon them. He’s afraid she will know he isn’t as strong as she believes.
Maddie has become the parent of her household; her life has been one obstacle after another. Never remaining in one place long enough to make friends or get comfortable, Maddie begins to form some of her best relationships while in California. The one relationship she wants more than anything is with Blaine, but he harbors some pretty deep scars and even though she’s breaking through to him she’s afraid she’ll push him away if she digs too deeply.
This book is heartbreaking and beautiful. I couldn’t put it down. I wept for the two young adults that endured a tremendous amount of pain while exhibiting an inconceivable amount of strength and love. Though Missing Pieces is about two young adults, it does contain mature content and can get pretty dark at times. It is not suitable for readers under 18. I’d recommend this for Nicola Haken fans, New Adult/Mature YA fans and anyone who is interested in a story of strength, courage, unwavering love and loyalty.
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dogs!) She is the author of New Adult/Contemporary romance novels Inevitable, Saving Amy and the Take My Hand series. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…
Other Books by Nicola Haken