Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review: S.C Stephen's "Collision Course."


4 Hearts Review of S.C. Stephens "Collision Course."
Amazon UK:


Lucas had it all – popularity, a devoted girlfriend, a brotherly best friend, and a loving mother who would do anything for him. His life was right on course to be a successful and fulfilling one, until the crash changed everything. It happened late one night during a sudden downpour. That evening, three young lives were lost and one life was left irrevocably altered. As the lone survivor, Lucas finds himself surrounded by swirling gossip of reckless drunkenness from the small town he used to warmly call home. Amid his own guilt and self-hatred, Lucas struggles to find hope, find peace, and maybe, even find love again.

Review: Surj

S.C. Stephens, Dina Silver and Priya Kanaparti recently joined forces to raise money for a cancer charity (Alex's Lemonade Stand) trying to find a cure for childhood cancer. They donated $1 for every book sold and there were 3 to choose from including "Collision Course." And so this is how the book came into my possession (obviously the synopsis had also caught my attention and so I the minute I had it on the kindle I got stuck right in). 

"Collision Course" was such a heart breaking story of how the events of one night left Lucas's future changed forever. No one should ever have to go through the loss he went through and at such a young age too. Lucas,his friends (Sammy and Darren) and his girlfriend (Lillian) had their whole lives ahead of them but a tragic accident left three of them dead and Lucas trying to figure out a life without them. Nothing made sense anymore. Everywhere he went, he was reminded of moments they'd shared and plans they'd made. He couldn't escape, he didn't want to escape. They even came to him in his dreams and there were times during this story where he forced sleep by taking pills just so he could be with them again:

I grew to relish my time spent dreaming, and dreaded my time spent awake, 
so much so, that I started searching for ways to prolong the slumber.

Lucas couldn't let go of his past and had no desire to live for the future. He felt responsible for the deaths of those he had loved dearly and it was eating him up inside. Slowly, he was shutting himself away from the world, the guilt and self loathing chipping away until all there was left were the dreams. The teachers and fellow classmates chose to believe the rumours and turned their backs on him making his life at school a living hell. Would  Sawyer be the girl that would make him fight to live? 

I loved the strength in her character. She was completely selfless, putting everything in her own life aside to help the one person who needed her the most. From the moment they met, Lucas and Sawyer formed a bond:

"You have no idea, Sawyer... None. I don't think I'd have lasted twenty minutes today 
if it weren't for you. If only you knew how much... peace I find with you."

 Both were outcasts with a history that had caused them so much pain. Sawyer did touch on her past a few times but didn't really give anything away until a good bit into the story. Unfortunately her revelation wasn't the only heart break she'd had to endure, the worst was yet to come and that did truly leave me broken for her.... I'd forgotten how cruel kids could be!!!  

Lucas was so conflicted about his feelings for Sawyer and he kept sending her mixed messages. Part of it was that he just couldn't let go of Lilian. In his dreams it was like he was getting a second chance with her. He was able to tell her all the things he never got the chance to when she was alive. To Lucas, he still belonged to Lil and so trying to form any kind of relationship other than a platonic one with Sawyer would mean he was cheating on her: 

I really couldn't let her go on thinking there was anything between us; nothing 
more than a close, almost familial, bond that I couldn't bear to have taken away from me. 
I loved her... just not like that. My heart was still Lil's. 

To me, Lucas's dreams were a reflection of his subconscious thoughts and the internal battle he was fighting:

"She's not your girlfriend anymore.! You can't keep ignoring 
real relationships for Lil, for us- we're dead, Luc. Let us be dead."

Deep down he knew the choices he had to make, he just wasn't ready to make them yet. It didn't matter what people said, the teachers, his mother, Beth (his Councillor), until he was ready to accept he wasn't to blame, he wouldn't move forward:

"You can't accept forgiveness from others until you accept it from yourself, Lucas."

"Collision Course" was quite a long book and there were moments where I felt I was going over old ground, where I needed the story to move forward but despite this, I did keep reading because the story had me so emotionally invested. The book was told from Lucas's POV and so I felt I understood his behaviour more so than some of the characters, that's not to say I  agreed with everything he said and did. There were times where I could have quite easily cried for him and where I actually did and other times where I wanted to shake him and make him start living... to appreciate what he had in his mother and in Sawyer. 

This book isn't an easy one to read because of the subject matters it deals with: death,blame, guilt bullying and there were moments I had take a time out because I felt almost drained. I'm glad I came back to it though and I'm so glad I finished it. I thought this book was going to be a little predictable and as I progressed, I thought I knew where the story was going. To a degree it did follow that path but be prepared for the mother of twists I didn't see coming, where my heart was in my mouth and the rug was clean pulled out from under me, where tears came and they came hard. Life really can be a bitch but I'm so glad Lucas's story ended on a positive note. I don't think my nerves could have taken a cliff hanger. 

I rated this book 4 Hearts

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