Life had never been simple for Miki Quinten. Her mom had died when she was eight, and in the aftermath of their loss, her father turned his grief into alcoholism, inadvertently converting their home into a melting pot of debauchery. Unwilling to be put into the foster system, Miki takes control of her own life and becomes invisible to almost everyone but her best friend and godmother.
It stayed that way until her junior year in high school and the sudden, unexpected crash landing of Childress High’s star defensive end, Dustin Hill, into her life. The unlikely pair are thrown together and discover they have more in common than either of them thought, and before either Miki or Dustin are prepared an unbreakable bond is formed between them. The only problem is, Dustin’s already in a relationship, and his controlling family have made it clear they want him to stay there.
Against Miki’s better judgment the two grow closer until fate’s twisted sense of humor intervenes and everything in Miki’s world is scattered, plunging her into a crisis she’s not sure she will ever recover from.
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"there’s a preordained path we all take.”
There are books that stick with me long after the last page and there have been other books along my reading journey that broke my heart only to then put it back together but A Shot in the dark by L.J. Stock, I just have no words for this book that I finished in awe, I'm still processing, I'm still seeing scenes play over in my mind and the whispering of words still trailing through thoughts from this beautifully written book. 💕
A fateful meeting, a high school romance, a secret romance, Miki Quinten ventured into the romance of a lifetime in secret with the high-school superstar, secret places only they knew about, stolen brushes of hands and secret kisses until it all went terribly wrong, one moment changed her life forever but out of it came a beautiful story of first love.
"I wasn’t totally blind or delusional. I had noticed the secrecy that Dustin was establishing our friendship on. I was being hidden away like an enigma, a little secret that was bordering on dirty for the high school football star".
"One night. One night with this guy was all it took for me to see the world in a whole new set of colors."
Real, raw, moving, emotional, many words stand out throughout Miki's story but tragic is the one that stands out the most.
A tragic upbringing, a tragic childhood then-teenage relationship with her father, a tragic love story. Two real loves in one lifetime, this is where it was real, the raw was dealing with the pain and having to go on when your world feels like it just ended, moving, there are so many emotions I felt for Miki and so many times I admired her ability to get back up after being knocked down and the strength she had of a girl who had pretty much brought herself up.
A book of two halves, second chances, a character who's own heart became two halves until it became whole again, but not without a fight, not without healing and even then years had passed.
You need to go into this blind, I tried so hard with my review not to add spoilers with regards to the plot, you need to feed on the words and feel the emotions, look at this in color.
This was my first stand-alone book by this author and it won't be my last, I did finish with a contented and happy sigh, but the journey, I must use the quote from the Lock stock and two smoking barrels "It's been emotional"
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”
― Helen Keller
Totally recommended read. Thank you to those who recommended it to me this is one that will stick