Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vouched Book! Sanctuary of Mine by S. Pratt

Sanctuary of Mine
by S. Pratt
Publication: July 13th, 2013 by S. Pratt
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Bought

Book Depository Amazon B & N Goodreads

When you see someone who looks like they need saving, you save them right?

Mackenzie Deeks is struggling. Outwardly she plays the tough guy and acts like being a young adult with an eating disorder is no big deal. Inside, she's crumbling.

Ever since her parents’ divorce, the only way she has been able to feel in control of her life is by purging the despair that has its grips on her and won't let go.

Tyler Redding knows when someone needs help - he's seen it before. This time, though, he's not going to take no for an answer. From the moment he first sets his sights on Mackenzie, he's unable to think of anyone else. But how can he focus on a football career when all he wants to do is date the most unassuming person he's ever met?

As their lives become intricately entwined, it becomes more than wishful thinking when Mackenzie and Tyler find each other again as adults. With successful careers, a beachside lifestyle and each other’s love to contend with, life should be pretty damn good. But just when they think they’ve found their wonderful kind of normal, their perfect world comes crashing down.

It’s going to take a lot to keep Mackenzie from succumbing to old habits, but Tyler thinks he might just be the one to save her for good.

Sanctuary of Mine is a New Adult novel, recommended for 17 years old and over due to sexual content and social situations.

Sanctuary of Mine  is about one teenage girl's struggle for control, one young man's dedication to help someone with love, and how how young romance and need to never let go can conquer all. With her parents divorced, her dad away on constant deployments, and a mother who doesn't listen, MacKenzie Deeks feels she has no control in her life. The only way she can find it is through her body, more precisely with her weight. She is bulimic and  anorexic and believes she hides both disorders so well.

But she doesn't. People have noticed with a single look. Her mother. Her new best friend, who comfort eats. The most popular guy in school. They all know—or at least suspect—and they don't know quite what to do.

While Sanctuary of Mine  isn't the all gritty, gut-wrenching read I expected it to be, it was a book I enjoyed and that was well worth the time. I could feel Mack's nervousness and self-doubt, as well as her need to just let go. The urge to have some kind of escape while still maintain a sense of control was visceral in her actions and narration. Purging becomes that release and an addiction for her.
“I look a complete and utter mess, not at all like the pretty girl my dad used to call me. But for some reason, I feel better and in control. It’s like with one simple purge I feel like a weight as been lifted from my shoulders. That feeling is kind of euphoric, which makes doing it kind of addictive.”
Tyler Redding's desire to get to know Mack and help her was also palpable. Though seemingly a rugby jock with an ideal family and home life, he has his own hard experience with eating disorders. He's genuinely caring and nurturing while still being a guy who can think with his pants. Even though I found his infatuation with Mack in the beginning a little much without good reason, it did add to the mystery of how deep his affection truly went and if he simply wanted to be a savior. I adored him more and more with each page, though.

My favorite character has to be Mack's new best and only friend, Levi.
“Funny how two people can have such a different relationship with food. I avoid it, wanting some sort of control when I know other things are beyond it. He seems to like food – too much. It would appear in order to replace his misery he feeds himself to feel some sort of happiness.”
Levi is the geeky, gay friend who accepts Mack with no questions asked. He was there for her, always, and eventually helps her fight herself along with himself. He and his relationship with Mack made me smile, laugh, and get all gooey inside.

I think my only big issue with the book was that I needed to see more of Mack struggling to fight through her disorders. That would have made the whole story more real to me, especially considering the severity of the subject matter. One minor thing: the mushiness between Mack and Tyler ... I wasn't expecting it. I could've done with less, but it did add that teenage angst and desperation to hold on to first loves.

The last third or quarter of the book was fabulous, ratcheting up the drama, suspense, and real life pain. I teared up, couldn't put the book down even though it was 3am, and ... gah! I can't say or I'll spoil the ending.

Sanctuary of Mine  is a lighter story on eating disorders but no less moving, with wonderful characters, young romance that never dies, and a nice HEA. I'd recommend it to mature young adults looking for a serious topic with sweet romance as the highlight.