Welcome to the Better by S. Walden Book Tour! Read my review of the follow-up to Good and enter to win a signed copy of the book!
CLICK HERE to follow the tour!
About the Book
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
“She’d destroy him, and he thought he wouldn’t mind.”
A fantastic follow-up to the difficult and heartbreaking Good, Better gives depth to Cadence and Mark’s love story as they struggle to build a lasting, stable relationship.
The dust has mostly settled. Mark is not going to jail. Cadence is eighteen and this is no longer a forbidden, illicit relationship. This is two people with different pasts, different experiences, and plenty of baggage trying to make a go of it. To further complicate things, the age difference rears its ugly head, Cadence is struggling with adolescent insecurities and a self-destructive streak, and Mark is carrying a secret that could destroy the shaky foundation of their relationship.
This is a wonderful continuation of the first book: told from multiple perspectives, and with flashbacks to the first book through Mark’s eyes, Better adds depth to the unforgettable story of Good while still smoothly transitioning in to the new story of Better. It adds depth and understanding to a romance, that perhaps began in a questionable way, but that I was completely invested in from the start. Like it or not, I love this couple together and wanted desperately for them to overcome their struggles and be the sexy, warm, loving, complicated couple that they can be. Though their individual issues are different, that’s what makes them compelling: they are very separate characters with an undeniable chemistry and connection. These two belong together, despite all of the roadblocks. In addition the Cadence and Mark, a fantastic cast of supporting characters bring complications, levity, and depth.
This story is emotional and heartbreaking, sexy, romantic, and even humorous. There’s a spiritual undertone: faith, God and religion is woven subtly throughout the book, adding an interesting, thoughtful layer. There’s plenty of darkness and the stark reality of death and those it leaves behind lurks quietly in the pages. The writing, dialogue, and situations feel genuine: it’s an honest and unflinching portrayal of this couple’s struggle, and the struggles of those around them. At it’s heart, it’s a beautiful story of growing up, of great love, tragedy, friendship, hope, and forgiveness, and a reminder that family is not always blood, but the people we choose.
“The need for another human being. Skin on skin. That fusion of minds and hearts. The need for constant love- dirty, wrecked, beautiful, imperfect, essential. Love. Better than hope. Better than faith. The greatest thing.”
*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Mark sat in his car staring through the windshield. Any minute now, Cadence, dressed in graduation robe and cap, would round the corner with her brother and Fanny. All he wanted was to see her smile.
He knew her parents didn’t show up. They made their intentions clear three nights ago when Cadence called home to speak to her mother. After she hung up, she told Mark she didn’t care that they refused to attend, but he awoke later that night to the sounds of her soft cries. She was curled up lying close to the edge of the bed, far away from him. He reached out to touch her, then stopped. Something told him not to, that it’d be disastrous if he tried to comfort her. So he left her alone. The next morning she was bright and cheery and as fake as he’d ever seen her.
He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Please smile. Please smile. Please smile.”
He thought back to the first time he saw her really smile. She grinned at him on the side of Highway 28, but it wasn’t until she sat on a metal bench in the bus parking lot on the first day of school that he saw a real smile. She giggled about the names she’d been calling him, revealing pretty teeth with one imperfection. She had a calcium deposit on her eye tooth. Yeah, he’d noticed. And he recalled feeling like a total creep for liking it so much.
Enter the Giveaway Below
About the Author
Better is the second book in the Too Good series…
Book #1: Good