Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole
We all have secrets.
Secrets well buried.
Until we find the one soul who makes the burden of such secrets just that little bit easier to bear.
Lexington "Lexi" Hart is a senior at the University of Alabama. Surrounded by her best friends, her loving family and having fulfilled her life-long dream of making the Crimson Tide cheer squad, everything is going exactly as she always dreamed it would. But beneath her happy exterior, demons lurk, threatening to jeopardize everything Lexi has worked to achieve. When events in her life become too much to cope with, Lexi finds herself spiraling down into the realm of her biggest fear. Lexi falls hard, victim once again to the only thing that can destroy her and, on the way, finds herself falling straight into the dangerous tattooed arms of a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Austin Carillo, starting Wide Receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide, must get picked in this year's NFL draft. He needs it. His brothers need it. Most importantly, his mother desperately needs it. Brought up in a world where the poor are forgotten, the sick are left to fend for themselves and no hero miraculously appears to pull you out of hell, Austin had no other choice but to make a living on the wrong side of the law—until football offered Austin the break to get his life back on track. But when a family tragedy drags him back into the clutches of the gang he believed he had left far behind, Austin finds himself falling. Falling back into criminal ways and falling deep into a suffocating darkness. Until a troubled yet kindred spirit stumbles across his path, where Austin quickly finds he is falling for a young woman, a young woman who might just have the power to save him from his worst enemy: himself.
Can two troubled souls find a lasting peace together? Or will they finally succumb to the demons threatening to destroy them?
I normally don't review New Adult books on my blog even though currently it is pretty much what I read, but this book I just had to write a review for. Sweet Fall is book three in the Sweet Home series but it can be read as a standalone as it follows two different main characters, Lexi and Austin.
Both Lexi and Austin are facing their own problems when fate seems to be pushing them together for better and worse. Lexi is struggling her illness which is starting to take over her life again after her best friend past away from the same illness, anorexia nervosa. What hit home about this was that through my degree I have studied anorexia the risks, the signs and why people face this, so seeing in a NA book just really put the illness out there and how people face the demons from it.
Austin is facing his own demons his mother is slowing dying from ALS, his old gang has recruited his 14 year old brother, his older brother is dealing on campus, and the dean is just looking for a reason to throw him out of college. Austin is close to the NFL draft, a chance to get out of this life that haunts him and his family, he cannot risk anything ruining his chances at the NFL.
After one of Lexi's psychiatrist appointments at the hospital she finds Austin alone and vulnerable after finding out some not so great news about his mother. These two were really thrown together and after run a few times they finally realise that they need each. To everyone else Lexi is a cheerleader goth with her dark makeup & black hair, but no one knows how much Lexi is hiding. Austin is the strong football player with gang tats, but not the vulnerable guy who doesn't know what is going to happen to his family or life.
Austin and Lexi once they tell each other their secrets they are inseparable but no one knows that they are together because Austin is worried that his old gang might come after her to get him back in. That is until his younger brother gets in trouble and then Austin leaves Lexi when she needed him most.
This book is not an easy one read, your heartbreaks as you read Lexi's point of view with the way that she degrades herself and makes herself eat less and less. The story is raw and emotional from both points of view it makes you feel and understand what both of them are going through and how much they need each other. Sweet Fall was fantastic despite the heartbreaking, emotional and raw story that you read.