Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades…normal life.
Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.
Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.
That together, they could face the world.
But the darkness is always waiting.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.
“Maybe I was an idiot, or a glutton for punishment. Or maybe I naively subscribed to the foolish notion that my love could save him. Whatever the reason, I entered the room and sank to the carpet beside that sad and broken boy.” – Maggie
*I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*
I finished this book at the end of the work day and as I got in my car to go home, my mind was still on Mags and Clay. I turned on the radio and the song that blasted through my speakers couldn’t have been more fitting; Hard to Love by Lee Brice. If you’re not a country fan, you’ve probably never heard it, but are a few lines….
“I’m hard to love, hard to love
I don’t make it easy.
I couldn’t do it if I stood where you stood.
I’m hard to love, hard to love
You say that you need me,
I don’t deserve it but I love that you love me.”
After you’ve read the book, you’ll understand why I found that song to be so fitting for Clay and Maggie’s volatile relationship.
Maggie was searching for spontaneity in her mundane, normal life; Clay was trying to escape his past and keep his bipolar illness in check. When they run into each other (literally) they both think they may have found the answer to their problems. Through a short few months together, they learn that the answer to their problems may not be so simple and that being together might be creating more problems than they ever had to begin with.
This book is the perfect example of what happens when you use love as a means of medicine; when you use your partner as a crutch. My heart was torn in two throughout this book because I just couldn’t pick a side. Clay had half, and Maggie had half. I felt for Clay when he was going through one of his episodes, but my heart ached for Maggie when he took out his aggression and anger on her. Their relationship was toxic almost from the very beginning, and I think some people would probably think Maggie was a whack job for staying with Clay. I don’t. I know firsthand the struggle of being with someone that suffers from internal issues. My ex’s issues weren’t as severe as Clay’s, but I dealt with the constant seesaw that was our relationship for almost two years. Why? Because I loved him. But there comes a time when you just have to walk away and stop trying to fix someone if they aren’t trying to fix anything on their own.
I was rooting for Maggie and Clay from the very beginning and to be completely honest, I’m pretty sure I still am. I want more of them as a couple. Maybe I’m a masochist or maybe I’m just plain crazy, but I really do love them together. The sweet things Clay did for Maggie made my heart smile, and during a couple particular scenes I had tears in my eyes. Their relationship was beyond the definition of angst-driven, but you could see that beyond the jealousy, the cutting, the mood swings, that Clay absolutely loved Maggie with everything he had. That’s why everything that happens between them is so hard to swallow. Oh, oh, OH! And his letter to her?! I was a crying puddle of woman-raging hormones after that. Let's just leave it at that.
Find You In The Dark will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions; it will make you laugh, make you swoon, make you love, make you hate, and it quite possibly just might break your heart. This book resonated with me and I absolutely can’t wait to read the sequel. A. Meredith Walters does a fantastic job making you feel the characters’ emotions and brings to light a very real illness that is rarely talked about. This book definitely left me with a hangover, but damn it, it was worth it.
PS - Just in case you wanted to hear the whole song I referred to earlier, here ya go :)