Released: 06th August 2020
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Author: Valeria Tong Cuong
Pages: 160

A split second decision, A terrible price to pay, Your life can change in a heartbeat!

For me a good book has to have a striking front cover, I'm very much one of those people that if the cover doesn't draw me in on the shelf I won't pick it up. Then once its done that, the blurb has to sell it to me to make me want to actually read it. Its even harder to choose a book to read when its not physically touchable, I'm also very much one of those people that likes to smell new pages.. not a weird person just a book person. 

So when I saw the front cover for this on NetGalley whilst I was scrolling through available requests, I did stop, I did read the blurb and I did end up requesting it. Obviously or we wouldn't be here about to review it!

While only a short story with 160 pages it gets straight into the action, I really enjoyed it from the first page to the last. The way the book is written fits really well with the fast paced story and the characters and their feelings are really well portrayed. 

The story makes you question yourself and your priorities and weather you would do the same in the situation Pax was put in. The book isn't a light read as it is full of choices, decisions, turmoil and regret. It covers an assault that makes you think about your own surroundings and safety, but it does enlighten with hope and love. 

'With his head thrown back and his eyes closed, the young man gives in to the joy thats taken hold of him. Im alive, alive, alive, he whispers.'

I struggled to put the book down once id started to read it, it had me wanting to know what would happen to Alex, would Pax tell them his secret? Would Emi discover his role in the reason her world is so screwed up? Would he be able to make his way back from something so traumatic? It even made me question how I would react if something so bad had happened to me or someone I loved.  

Unfortunately the ending is rather sudden and I expected more from it. There is definitely plenty of story left to tell from all three of the main characters, Alex, Emi and Pax. I'm hopeful for a second instalment from a wonderful writer, if only to clear up all my 'But what happens next?' issues.

Very cleverly written, brilliant short story and definitely worth a read.

* I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley but all views are my own *

Thanks again to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced copy.