The Things We Cannot Change by Kassandra Kush

This is actually, technically, a series. It goes, Prologue, The Struggle, The Healing, and the Love Story, which actually kind of annoyed me, because it could easily have just been one long book.

Basically this book is about a girl who is Ms. Popular, is extremely rich, and has a perfect boyfriend (it’d be more accurate to call her Ms. Perfect). It is also about the boy who is not only her polar opposite and has a tendency to burry his emotions, but who also finds out that her boyfriend is abusing her.

Personally, I found this book extremely emotional. On more than one occasion, I had to stop reading because my eyes were tearing up so much. It is very heart wrenching, and I thought that that should be the first thing I tell you, as a warning. If you don’t want to be emotionally vulnerable, emotionally attached to characters, or you don’t want to end up screaming and raging at how stupid the characters are being, at how stubborn they are because they are human and are portrayed as human, than you shouldn’t bother to finish reading this post. This obviously isn’t the book for you. But if you like books where characters are relatable and actually human, and the struggle they go through feels very real, then by all means, keep reading.

Like I said, the characters were very human. Zeke and Evie (the main characters) were two of the most flawed, insecure characters I have read; they were vulnerable, and courageous, and amazing people, while at the same time being complete cowards who were destructive and harmful to themselves. It took me no time at all to fall in love with Evie and Zeke, and some of their friends, like Dom, Koby, and Jenny, while at the same time absolutely hating on their enemies.

I also loved the writing style. It was very fast paced, and easy to follow; I was never confused or thought things were moving too slow or too fast. Considering the series is practically in installments, I spent no time ripping through the pages to get to the end. I must have read the first two or three in one day. And, at the same time, you feel like you’re actually in the characters skins. You feel like you’re a part of them, like you’re feeling what their feeling.

The one thing I did not like was the way the books were broken up. The first two parts could have easily been one book, and it annoyed me, to no end, that I had to keep going to the store to get the next one. It seemed to me like the books are more like sections, and they’re even labeled as “Part 1,” “Par 2,” “Part 3,” etc. And the entire thing just felt like one giant struggle leading up to the inevitable. Yes, it would have made a very long book, but it really wouldn’t have made a difference. It wasn’t like The Harry Potter series, where each book stood on its own, without any real help from the others (although you did have to read the previous books to fully understand what was happening, you could have picked up from anywhere, and enjoyed it, if not slightly less than if you had started from the first and read through all seven). It really did blend all together.

The series dealt with a lot of issues: abuse (physical, mental, and sexual; both from others and to yourself), substance abuse, cutting, graffiti, losing a loved one, bullying, being on your own and having to defend yourself, the healing process, among other things. It really talked about and delved into standing up for yourself, figuring out your own problems, and relying on others, as the main topics in the backbones of the plot.

The one regret I had, aside from the sections thing that I had no control over, was that it ended so quickly. I almost wish there was another part, so that I can find out what happened (it ended on such a cliff hanger that I have to assume there’s going to be another part to the series), but I’m also ready to lay the series to rest. I have yet to decide weather or not I will hunt down the next part, or weather I will just let it lie. But I will say that I do recommend it for anyone who 1) continued to read despite my warning, 2) liked what they read or was at least interested in reading it, and 3) can take being emotionally rocked and slightly horrified. This series is not for the light-hearted, or the easily upset stomach. It does batter and bruise, but I thought it was worth continuing to read, and I’m glad that I didn’t stop after the first part.