I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.
Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.
God this book is awesome. It is a must read, and I honestly don’t think you could find someone not recommending it, it’s so good.
It’s the story of Nell and Colton, before and after a terrible accident takes someone they love away from them.
The first part was so sweet and delicate and just … precious.
It shows us how Nell and Kyle (Colton’s baby brother) went from childhood best friends to lovers when they were in high school. How they learned to push their relationship to another level, how they learned to fall in love with each other. Learned to think of a future together.
“I know most people would say we’re just kids, or to young too know what love is. But screw that. I’ve known you my whole entire life. We have shared everything together.”
You smile throughout the whole first part at how sweet their relationship was and how it grew and how obvious it was too, and how they learn how to show their feelings to each other.
I truly loved this part, but from the get go, you know that it will come to a tragic and impounding end, and the closer you get to the end of part one, the heavier you heart gets, knowing that tragedy is just around the corner, about to shatter their world.
“I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first.
Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.”
Now, I’m not one to cry easily. I don’t cry while watching movies. Never once shed a tear when Mufassa died in The Lion King, nor did I when Bambi’s mother got shot. But chapter 4 and 5 of Falling Into You completely did me in. I was weeping something fierce, wiping my cheeks every five seconds. And like I said, I’m not really used to waterworks.
“…I walked out of the viewing room without looking into the casket. I knew that the thing in the casket wasn’t Kyle. It was a shell, a husk, an empty clay gourd. I didn’t want to see that. I wanted to see Kyle in my mind as the strong, glorious gorgeous Adonis, the way his muscles moved and rippled, the way his hands touched me and the way his sweat mingled with mine.”
“I wanted nothing more than to climb into the box with him and quit breathing, find him in whatever came after life.”
The end of part one also introduces us to Colton and lets us glimpse into the “new story of the book”. Because even if the characters are the same, Nell is not the same as she was and Colton is miles away from the tone the book started with. But he is perfectly fitted for Nell post-Kyle.
“What do you want from me?” Her voice is ragged, desperate.
“I want you to let yourself be broken. Let yourself hurt.”
This part is much darker. It is two years after the accident. Colton and Nell find each other in New York City, and like I said, it’s almost like you’re reading another book the atmosphere is so radically different from part one.
Nell is broken and so is Colton. But where Colton embraces the hurt, the guilt and the pain, Nell tries her best to keep it at bay, to avoid it. She never grieved Kyle’s death and let all her emotions fester.
“How do you compete with a ghost, Colton?” I whisper the question into a long silence.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. You don’t. You just understand that there’s a part of you that you can’t give away, because it belongs to a dead person. I don’t know.”
Where part one was about falling in love and making plans for the future, part two is more about facing one day after another, making it through said day without crumbling and letting go eventually. Allowing yourself to feel everything and then move on. It’s about learning to live with the pain.
“One breath at a time. One day at a time. Wake up, and be shredded. Cry for a while. Then stop crying and go about your day. You’re not okay, but you’re alive, and you will be okay, someday.”
“Colton is…I’m safe with him. He draws the truth out of me. He draws the pain out of me. Colton knows pain. He’s intimately familiar with it. Lives with it. Guilt, too.
Colton has secrets, and I want to know them all.”
I liked the fact that J. Wilder gave voice to both Nell and Colton. Like I said, Nell is not the same person after the accident and a part of her died with Kyle, and I was curious to read Nell’s perspective on the situation with her post-Kyle voice. I also liked that Colton’s voice started the post-Kyle part of the book. It made the separation between past and present narration even clearer. And seeing Nell through his eyes was very interesting and enlightening.
She’ll hurt me. I know this. I can see it, feel it coming. She’s got so much pain, so many cracks and shards and jags in her soul, and I’m going to get cut by her if I’m not careful.
I loved the immediate connection between Colton and Nell. They just fit and clicked together I thought.
“We understand each other, Nelly. We’ve both lost someone we love. We both have scars and regrets and anger. We can do this together.”
And let’s just say that even though there’s heartache and grief and hurt in the book, it is still mighty hot! The steam starts around 60% into the book, but is not missing from it before that. And when it’s there, it just gives it even more power. And God! it was hot!
“‘What…what are you doing to me?’ I ask
“Making you come” He returns his mouth to my folds and sucks my turgid nub into his mouth, and I scream, arch into him. “I’m getting you ready.”
“Ready for what?” I want to know. God, do I want to know. There’s more?
“Come, and I’ll show you.”
“I thought I was coming?”
He chuckles. “Oh, no.” He reaches up with his free hand, and suddenly he’s everywhere. Pinching my nipple and rolling it, and fingering me, curling and thrusting, licking, sucking… “Come. Now.”
It’s a command, and I have no choice but to obey.”
The love between Colton and Nell was breathtaking and so, so inspiring. Like I said, I loved the connection they had. It was simple and true and yes, also complicated but so evident. It truly moved me. It was beautiful. The last part of the book showed that perfectly.
“He’s my rock. He’s there, just…always there, exactly how I need him……… He doesn’t fix me, doesn’t heal me. He just makes life worthwhile. He helps me remember to breathe, shows me how to smile again. He kisses me, and I can forget the pain……… When we come together, when we kiss, when we drowse into sleep side by side, we’re falling into each other, and that’s when I’m okay. When I’m falling into him.”
Ps: The book is full of poetry and music. Wilder introduces the work of some truly great artists that, and I agree with her, everybody should give a listen to. Their work completed the book perfectly.
“I’m not just falling in love with you, Nell. I’m falling into you. You’re an ocean, and I’m falling in, drowning in the depths of who you are.”