Safe & Sound (Promise Me #1)
Author: Alli Hope
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 22, 2017
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
16 year-old, Hailey
Perish, knows her life can’t get much worse. Since her dad split a few
years ago, Hailey’s mother has spiraled hard and fast, careening toward
rock bottom and threatening to take her daughter down with her. Hailey
now marks time by evictions, her mother’s poker games, and Saturday
School where she voluntarily shows up for weekend detentions to secure
her one promised meal of the week. She has no room for relationships,
especially with someone like her childhood love and junior class golden
boy, Carson Hart. Hailey trusted him once and Carson failed her. She’s
determined not to let herself be hurt again.
When Hailey’s mom
does the unthinkable and bets her own daughter in a high stakes poker
game, Mitch, the loan shark, is all too eager and determined to collect
on his debt. To him, Hailey is nothing but property. His property. And
he’ll do anything to recover it. On the run from a fate that promises a
much worse life than she already knows, there’s only one person in the
world Hailey can call for help.
Will Carson be there for her in
her darkest hour and deliver her from harm’s way safe and sound? Or will
he abandon Hailey—just like he’s always done—just like they all do?
Hope’s debut novel delivers an unforgettable story about love &
surviving in the dark places. Safe & Sound contains mature
situations and content.
Warning: Safe & Sound contains explicit language and a scene that
portrays explicit sexual abuse & molestation. We have included this
in order to tell an accurate story; to be a voice for those who have
none. And to bring light to an issue we believe must be brought out of
the darkness and into a broader awareness. If you are sensitive to
sexual abuse issues, please be advised.
Safe & Sound is a gritty look into the lives we try to hide from others and even ourselves. It's about love and all of its forms, of surviving the worst life can throw at you, and the inner strength we're capable of. This isn't my usual type of novel - especially due to the sexual abuse issues. I definitely suggest readers heed the warning before beginning this book as some of the content is jarring and disturbing.
The story is written from two different perspectives - that of our main character, Hailey, and her love interest and friend, Carson. Both are told from the first person perspective, which I think is a perfect choice for this book. I'm a huge advocate for this writing style because the reader gets to know the character on a very personal level - and that's exactly what happens here. Hailey's story is the heart of the story and it's her pain and struggles we experience through her eyes. She's very realistic and I easily empathized with her throughout the book. Hailey's been through hell and it seems as if she can't catch a break. I'm not going to go through the plot as it's pretty intense (just read the description). I did have a bit of a problem identifying with Hailey and Carson though. I definitely sympathized for each of them, but their lives and character traits are so different from my own that I just couldn't connect on the right level that I believe this book calls for. That's completely on me and has nothing to do with the writing or the novel itself. I'm sure other readers won't have the same issues as I did. It's simply a personal problem on my side. Another thing that contributed to my reading was the material. Like I mentioned earlier, I don't normally read books like this or in this genre - especially if they have sexual abuse. Again, this is a personal issue on my end and has nothing to do with the novel or writing. I recommend this for fans of realistic YA fiction, contemporary, romance, and readers looking for a gritty novel with a heartfelt and hopeful silver lining.