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How do you heal after tragedy? 
Is it even truly possible?
Ashlyn and Garrett have been friends forever, nursing each other through the unimaginable. Over the years, they’ve learned to lean on each other and keep going. 
But there’s a huge difference between moving forward and merely standing still.

BOOK REVIEW: Standstill

Nicole Dyke

Series: N/A

My Rating:

ARC kindly provided for an honest review

“You’re in love with a ghost, remember?”

I always look forward to reading books from authors I’ve not dabbled with before. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m finding that my taste lately is bordering on preferring dirty darker romances but every now and then I need a bit of sugar-loving. Somehow Nicole Dykes manages to thankfully, find that intricate balance between some darkness (okay maybe grey-ish), some sugar, a bit of forbidden and some humour with this story. It’s very rare that I come across a story that makes my heart ache for the characters. I’m talking about the type of ache that is so real you forget it’s JUST A BOOK. But you’re so wrapped up in it you start to wonder what you would do if it happened to you. Making it way too personal and really torn up about it as if it’s a problem you’re actually faced with. Yep…this book had me tied up in knots. Page after page.

“I’m stuck in time. Unable to move. I’m forever that kid, standing on the side of the road, bloody and broken…Praying to God it isn’t fucking real.”

When 26 year old Garrett finds himself all grown up, well atleast living a life of a grow up, he can’t deny that his mind is still that high school kid caught up in the trauma of losing his high school girlfriend. He had plans with her. For her. And suddenly she’s taken away for her and he doesn’t know how to pick the pieces up, how to live without her. So he doesn’t. Survivor’s guilt has its claws in him and he can’t find a way out. The pain has crippled him. So he does what every grieving person does (okay maybe not true), he fucks his way through life. There’s no other way. Or is there? Other than the one way he knows for certain is off limits to him. Or so he thinks.

“I can’t be with him knowing, I’m a consolation price. “

Losing her best friend in an accident changed Ashlynn’s life forever. She is trapped in the past. Can’t move on. She feels untethered and all she wants is to clings to the familiar. The comfortable. Her best friend’s boyfriend fits that description to a T. They share a loss, they understanding each other and they’ve been friends since childhood. But Ash has always had a thing for Garrett. So living with him, is it a good idea? Is she wrong to want her dead best friend’s boyfriend? Even though he might be the love of her life?

“I will never not love her, but I have to try to move on. For my fucking sanity. I have to.”

The chemistry between these two is palpable. The passion is undeniable even in the way they fight. Although they have a somewhat dysfunctional co-dependency relationship, neither one of them wants to acknowledge to the other anyway, that there’s more to it. So occasionally you want to scream

I loved how relatable the story was. Like it could happen to someone you know. The guilt and the heart-break wearing Garrett down is so heavy you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Although I wanted to strangle him half the time, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the loss of his dreams. Throughout the story I suspect Garrett probably loved Ash more than Paige, but obviously he can’t say that about the dead. It’s fucked up. The story perfectly highlighted how failing to address issues head-on may sometimes rob you of a lot of time and happiness.

“You are the only thing in this fucking world that makes me even remotely happy, and I’ll be able to be with you, Ash.”

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