On their first date they open up to each other, forging an unbreakable bond between them. But Kyle has spent two years living with a vicious secret—one his ex-girlfriend will do anything to protect—and sharing his truth with Aspen makes her a target. Now if Kyle is to be her love story, Aspen must first win the fight of her life.
You've been collecting pieces of me: my attention and my heart, my everything. That first day I saw you, Aspen. Something in the sight of you made the sun rise inside me. It's a lot to lay on you, maybe. But when I saw you I knew, finally, that I was still alive.
As I sit her pondering what I'm going to say in my review, my biggest challenge is going to be how to portray my mixed emotions adequately. There were things that I loved so much, and then things that bugged me the whole time that I was reading Painted Boots. So please forgive me while I try to get my feelings across in the way that I intend.
My very first thoughts when I started reading Painted Boots was how impressive the authors writing was. I was immediately captured by her words. Her descriptions and word choice for me were perfect. I saw and felt everything that I think she was intending for her readers to feel. She managed to immediately have me either loving or hating her characters. Kyle and Aspen were so sweet and loving together. Kyle's parents were wonderful and for most of the book, so was Aspen's Dad. And Em, our bad guy was so incredibly evil.
I don't have a problem with instant love, but a lot of people do. Aspen and Kyle are ready for a lifelong commitment pretty quickly after the very first time that they talk. They have each been attracted to the other since they first set eyes on each other, but things did move pretty quickly from that point on. But I have to say that I found their feelings believable, I think because the author wrote the characters the way she did. They are both broken and dealing with hurt and pain, so the impact that they each have on the other is incredibly intense. But I bought it. Completely.
The difficult topics that are tackled throughout the book came across loud and clear. Death, pain, bullying, tragedy, loss, grief... All were dealt with by the author really well.
And now for what I had a hard time with. First up was with the fact the Kyle called Aspen girl. Now some of you may find that endearing, but for me it grated on me. I love terms of endearment so much, but for me, girl just didn't do it and it took away from the beautiful things that Kyle was saying. He speaks and feels such beautiful things, and I just wish that girl hadn't been tacked onto so many sentences.
Then there was Aspen's Dad. There is a point towards the end of the book where his actions stunned me. After everything that Aspen has endured, what he did didn't fall far from the horrors that she had already experienced. Yes, I completely understood why he felt he had to intervene, but in my opinion, it was way beyond the wrong way to go about it.
And lastly, when a person is so far removed from reality as Em was here, that there comes a point when the authorities have to be bought on board. Surely a person that far on the side of crazy can't constantly portray a level of sanity at all times. She was doing some crazy stuff and the ones most affected where sweeping it under the carpet somewhat. Covering it up or hoping she would get past the faze she was going through.
So what it comes down to is where I sit after getting all that off my chest? I think I'm somewhere in the middle. I loved the writing and the characters, but the little issues I have prevent me from giving it more than three to three and half stars.
3/5 Intense Stars.