Published by Createspace Independent Pub on 2014-04-01
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Benjamin Nefer seems to have it all. He's the most popular guy in school, the star quarterback with college scouts looking at him, his grades are near the top of his class, he can get any girl he wants . . . but he hides behind his dream life to mask the nightmare of his reality.Charlie Austin is the new girl. Forced to move in with a bitter aunt, she only wants to protect her fragile mom from the world's cruelty. When Benjamin sets his sights on Charlie, she's armored against his charm—friends warned her about Benjamin's game of pursuing and then dumping a long line of girls, not caring about the broken hearts he leaves behind. She doesn't count on how single-minded he can be when she refuses him, or how charismatic, easing into her life through what he claims is just friendship.Benjamin thought he could keep Charlie in the same place he keeps all girls—something to be used and then discarded. But Charlie has as many secrets as he does, secrets he's determined to discover while keeping his own hidden. He realizes she's the perfect girlfriend candidate . . . someone he can use to keep up the façade of a perfect life. Now he just has to keep his frozen heart from softening toward this unique girl, because if he doesn't, his carefully constructed lies might just come thundering down around him, crushing him beneath the burden of feeling.
I am going to start with a huge PLUS… that cover is so awesome! It’s crisp and so meaningful.
Now, let’s get to the book.
I’m really torn with this one. I loved Cindy C. Bennett’s first (to me) book, Heart On A Chain. It was phenomenal. I loved it. I’m not comparing the two books because that’s not right, but after being so happy with Heart On A Chain I was very excited to read The End of Feeling and unfortunately it just fell a little short for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty good story and the characters were somewhat good, but I guess I was just expecting to love it more than I did and was a bit disappointed when it didn’t quite get there.
Charlotte “Charlie” Austin is a pretty strong and witty little character and has a lot to deal with on the home front. Benjamin Nefer… Ahhhh my heart breaks for this dear little boy. Not the Benjamin Nefer that is the high school football jock, but the dear little soul that is inside of him that the jock hides and keeps secret.
Benjamin’s story is gut-wrenching and very hard to read. He made himself lose all emotion and feeling to protect himself. Yet, he has a lot of emotion when it comes to Charlie and her family. That in itself is in direct contradiction to his character’s back story and that’s what makes the story interesting, is how he’s dealing with these new found feelings that he has.
I know… so far I’m not giving anything about what I didn’t like. Well, that’s because there isn’t really any one particular thing that I didn’t like per say. It’s more of a “feeling” I guess.
- I didn’t feel as close to the characters as I would have liked (except Benjamin).
- I didn’t feel the relationships/friendships as much as I would have liked.
- I didn’t feel the impact that I think this story should have carried.
This should have knocked me right out of my seat and I didn’t feel that. Matter of fact, I stopped reading this at about 70% and read 2 or 3 other books and then went back to it to finish it. That shouldn’t have happened. I didn’t completely lose interest in it, or else I wouldn’t have come back to it. It’s just that when I saw a couple of the other titles come in, I very readily put this aside to read them and then came back. That sort of speaks volumes.
There was a lot of healing to be done in this book and a lot of forgiving to be done in order to get there. I’m not so sure I would have been as forgiving. View Spoiler » I am NOT a fan of Benjamin’s mother. It was explained that her actions were because of Mia and I get that. Benjamin seems to have accepted that too, especially when he sees how great Mia is now. What I don’t get is that after the initial rescue of one… I cannot fathom not being able to make a second rescue, even it were at the very minimum an “attempt”. I just can’t grasp it. She’s lucky her son lived to be 18. I also think that Benjamin’s father got off scott friggin’ free by wrapping himself around a tree. He should be rotting in jail instead. Death was too good of a punishment for him in my opinion. « Hide Spoiler
I did enjoy the last chapter a lot. Football and scholarship was extremely important to Benjamin throughout the entire book View Spoiler » and when he walked off the field to run and catch Charlie I thought that was awesome! It meant so many things to me. He no longer felt the crushing need to excel at football so as not to miss his chance at a scholarship. It meant that he felt a little SAFER in his world at that moment in time and that Charlie was the most important thing right then to him. It meant that he was well on his way to healing. « Hide Spoiler I did miss having an epilogue but then again, it might have ruined the perfect ending had there been one… and it was a perfect ending. It gave me the warm fuzzies. That’s a perfect ending for me when I get those.
All in all, I think Cindy C. Bennett is a fabulous author and I will definitely keep my eyes out for her books and I will read from her again. Her dialogue and easy flow of writing style makes it easy to read.