Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: May 29, 2017
Length: 350 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Violence is hard to escape because of the scars it leaves—on the body, the mind, and the heart.
Small, skinny, and timid, Matt is the school’s punching bag. He suffers in silence and holds no hope anyone will come to his aid. The last thing on his mind is finding someone special. He’s sure it’s impossible, so why bother trying?
Shane is no stranger to pain. At his old school, he broke a football player’s arms for tormenting his friend, and with his size and multiple tattoos, he looks every bit the thug everyone—Matt included—assumes he is.
Building trust isn’t easy, but a sweet yet passionate romance slowly unfolds. Their road isn’t without bumps, but Matt and Shane navigate them together, finding happiness and security in each other—until another act of violence and its aftermath threatens to tear their lives—and their love—apart once and for all. But like the symbols etched into Shane’s skin, some things are made to last.
Reading a new author is always a bit of a tightrope isn't it? You stumble upon a book either by someone else's recommendation, an eye-catching cover or a well-worded blurb that grabs your attention, but you begin reading with a hope that you'll connect with the author and get sucked into their story. For me, Symbols by Mario Kai Lipinski caught my attention by its cover and blurb. I'm a HUGE fan of books set in high school (which is why I'm such an avid YA reader!) so I knew this one was going to be right up my alley. Unfortunately, a convoluted plot, excess drama, and some problems with execution made this more of a miss than a hit for me.
On the plus side, I really did like the characters of Matt and Shane. Dual POV is my favorite and I enjoyed seeing both Matt and Shane throughout the book. Matt tugged on my heartstrings and the terror and pain he felt being bullied so horribly was hard to read. Shane, being the bigger of the two, is, of course, the giant with a heart of gold and though cliche', it works for a reason. Seeing Matt learn to trust and believe in Shane was emotional, and I thought Lipinski pulled that off well.
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