I have become SUCH a fan of this author over the course of all her books. Everything she writes is unique and different and refreshing. She sets many of them in Ireland, since that’s where she’s from, and it makes her books even more appealing. So when I see a new book by her, I can’t get it fast enough. Even the fact that this is a two-part series doesn’t bother me at all, when normally I balk at this kind of thing. I’m just happy there are two and they’ve been released very close together.
This first book starts in the past, in 2006. Evelyn lives in the poorer part of Dublin, Ireland with her aunt, her mother having abandoned her years before. She’s in high school and NOT one of the cool kids. It’s pretty much just her and her best friend Sam. Despite these disadvantages, she’s amazingly optimistic and cheerful. She has a wee garden on the roof of the building along with a few other tenants, and that’s where she finds her grounding, working with flowers.
Her life takes a real shift when a young man bursts into the apartment, needing shelter from a group of bully boys. Though she’s never spoken to him, she recognizes him since they both attend the same school. Dylan, the young man, is the opposite of Evelyn. He sees the ugliness all around them and knows he needs to escape as soon as he can in order to survive. He and his small group of friends make friends with Evelyn and Sam and they become a close-knit unit.
Though she doesn’t know it for a while, Evelyn is very important to Dylan. Through her optimism, he’s able to tolerate his life until the time comes to escape.
This all sounds quite simple, but it is so brilliantly and lyrically written that it’s a number of steps ahead of most books. It makes the reader ‘feel’ so much. When there is a tragedy that is heartbreaking, it takes a hard reader not to be affected. The nature of it changes Evelyn to her core, changing her from a wonderfully optimistic person to one whose eyes have been opened to the many evils of the world.
The book ends when Dylan is ready to escape. He has special talents that will see him well. He desperately wants Evelyn to go with him, but she has obligations that keep her where she is. He’s then reluctant to leave but she insists. Keep in mind this is just Part 1.
Life used to be simple.
I was a city girl with humble dreams. Then Dylan O’Dea broke into my flat, held me against the wall and told me to stay quiet.
It was like in the movies, where the universe zeros in on a single scene. I looked into his eyes and knew he was going to change me.
For Dylan, the sky was always falling. He showed me how our world is a contradiction of beauty and ugliness. How we choose to ignore the awful and gloss over it with the palatable. How you need just a tiny drop of something unsavoury to create every great scent.
Pretty deep for a pair of teenagers living in a block of council flats in inner city Dublin, right? Probably. But we weren’t typical. We both had our obsessions. Mine was growing things, Dylan’s was scent. He taught me how to use my nose, and I introduced him to the magic of flowers.
I had no idea that one day he’d build an empire from what we started together. But before that, there was love and happiness, tragedy and epic heartbreak…
My name is Evelyn Flynn and I’m going to tell you about the crack in everything.
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: