I got this on Kindle. Not really a full-length novel, more of a short story. Sophie and Carter live next door to each other and are both seniors in high school and best friends forever. They've both witnessed the other's horrible lives. Carter's Mom and he have both been abused by Carter's Dad. Carter sports a scar from the back of his neck down to the elbow of his arm from where his Dad came after him with a knife and then disappeared. Carter's mom is mentally disabled from all the years of abuse. Carter takes care of his mom, refusing to put her in an institution.
Sophie takes care of her three younger siblings, her mom is a prostitute and doesn't come home for weeks or months at a time. No Dad around.
Sophie and Carter only have each other for support. And they meet at the porch swing at Sophie's each night for a few minutes before going back to their real lives.
Sweet story. Short, though, and some of it was kind of not believable. Like each of them getting away with living on their own for so long without being reported to child services, or that money wasn't more of an issue for Carter. Or that Sophie hadn't been thrown out of their home already?
Still, if you can overlook these small nit-picks and not chant "I'm not buying it" (like some folks in my critique group) it is a worthwhile read because the author gets the emotional beats just right.
PS it was cheap, that is why I bought it.
My rating: * * * (3 stars)