Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre


From author's website:
Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.
Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain—he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything…because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.
It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.

This is the third installment in the 2B series about a group of college students rooming together in, you guessed it, Apt. 2B. First up was Nadia in I Want It That Way. Second was Lauren in As Long As You Love Me. Now we have two roommates, Max and Courtney. Both are haunted by their pasts, one more literally than the other. Max comes from an abusive home and has struggled for everything he has ever achieved or obtained, while Courtney has been handed everything by her rich parents, but suffered a terrible loss.

Max's mother died when he was young, his father became an abusive alcoholic, which ultimately leads to Max leaving home after a tragic accident at 16. He's fought his way through college and finds it difficult to truly connect to anyone. In his experience, when you try to make a true connection with someone they leave. Courtney, on the other hand, has been existing in a half-life since her childhood best friend and first love died when they were in high school. To dull the pain, she escaped into a prescription pill addiction and, essentially, gave up on life, just going through the motions. Max and Courtney meet at a party and eventually become good friends. When Lauren moves out of 2B in I Want It That Way, Courtney takes her spot, making her Max's roommate as well.

When Max's grandfather dies, these two crazy kids embark on a horribly awkward, but ultimately rewarding trip to Max's hometown. Max asks Courtney to go with him because he knows things will not go well with his father and expects no one in the family will be happy to see him. Max's request forces him to open up to Courtney about his past in a way he's never done before. Max goes all in, holding nothing back, including things he'd rather not remember. For her part, being with Max and helping him cope with his family brings Courtney back to life, but it's hard to let go of the future you planned your entire life to embrace a new future.

Once again, Ann Aguirre has written an incredible story. The 2B series has quickly become one of my favorites. The stories are well-written, with great characters and realistic portrayals of friendship, loss and opening oneself up to the possibility of love. Max is completely swoon-worthy. Courtney is a sarcastic, capable and fun woman. These two together make a beautiful couple of complimentary characteristics, flawed, yet perfect for one another, if they can get around their fears and prejudices. I cannot recommend this series enough and I hope you will check it out!

~ Shel

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