This book was like being on a seesaw. I'm going to be the odd one out here, but I didn't believe Zach's story. There were so many touching and heart-wrenching parts that drew me in to Zach's pain and his heart but there was always something that tore me out of the story. Notably, pointless POV changes, frequent angsty misunderstandings, and head-hopping. This story had so much potential. There were some flashes of beautiful writing but as a whole it wasn't well executed.
I was happy the author didn't focus on the years that Zach spent in captivity but rather focused on Zach's recovery. I just wished we saw more of Zach dealing with his problems on his own rather than how it pertained to David and their relationship. Two years are skipped between the time Zach was rescued and when he meets up with David again. We see Zach continuing to deal with his trauma but we did not see the process that led to the point where Zach could begin to let David into his life. We didn't follow his journey or see any of his breakthroughs. We're just suppose to believe that Zach came out on the other side and is ready to love and be loved again. Personally I needed more and this is where I lost the connection to Zach. It seemed like the romance and the relationship were more important than Zach's recovery.
I understand that both MC's have constant self doubt, especially considering the circumstances, but I didn't believe in their struggle. All the misinterpretations and drama got old and didn't feel genuine. I hate to say this but it felt like the author was throwing all this in just to give it a "love can get you through anything" feel. Zach was tortured both physically and mentally, he was humiliated and is still suffering but many times this is lost and felt secondary to the repetitive and predictable melodrama. I ended up get extremely frustrated because in my eyes it trivialized what Zach was going through. It is a disservice to the book. I understand that this is a romance but did the romance have to only consist of: argument, world is ending, make-up, then wash, rinse, repeat? This is what ruined the book for me.
As far as the POV changes go, I didn't need to hear from either of Zach's parents, David's mother or the reporter. IMO, none of this added to the story. All the characters were dealing with the same emotions and issues and there was nothing new or different between them. The perfect parents and friends made the entire atmosphere seem fake. Everyone was so supportive and accepting, which again made me feel like the author was pushing the "everyone needs to be happy" button.
Also, why was every therapy session with Zach's parents? Obviously group therapy is needed but was it necessary for the story? It would have been much more believable if we saw Zach's solo therapy sessions. Zach was holding back so many times because he didn't want to discuss things in front of his parents. It doesn't make sense.
I also went back and forth with David too. I loved how David didn't coddle Zach or push him but at times he did some pretty bonehead things that were completely insensitive.
Between the predictable drama and the head-hopping, I didn't know where to turn.
To me, this was superficial with very little depth. It's difficult for me to brush these issues under the rug, especially when a book deals with such a serious subject matter. In the beginning, I really got pulled into Zach's story but ultimately I was disappointed.