For starters, it was the cover that sole my heart. It's so pretty, and beautifully tragic - just like this story. CD Reiss is a new author for me, but the blurb and cover was intriguing enough for me to go in blind and give it a fair shot. This book was refreshingly - 'different' for me. The writing style as well as the way in which the story unfolds was new and novel. Initially it took me little time to get used to it, and some transition between the scenes seemed jarring, but it was definitely not a showstopper. I loved how the story alternated between past and present evolving at a leisurely place but still keeping up the suspense.
This book was infused with lot of elements and it clearly worked in its favour - a beautiful, heart-warming package of tragedy, helplessness, fear, freedom, hope and second chances. And the book names completely aligns with the underlying story and the message that the author is trying to convey. And what was truly captivating about this book was the music. Music references , and it being the symbol of their love, truly elevated this story and made their love story all the more real and heart-touching. I loved how the writer was able to infuse music in the expression of their feelings. That was true spotlight of this book for me.
As far as the characters are concerned - I have mixed feelings. I obviously dislike Peter, finding absolutely no redeeming qualities in him. Regarding Gabriel and Carrie, I like them as a couple. Complimenting each other and having great chemistry, but as individuals - not so much, especially Carrie. I could empathize with her, but I didn't seem to really love her. She has guts, and I get what she seeks, and why she takes certain steps, but I wish she were - more bolder, and firm, perhaps? She got herself played into some nasty and 'dark' situations, but if she were to have stood up for herself and her beliefs right from the start, a lot of hardships could have been avoided. And I wasn't a big fan of her initial cynical attitude either. Gabriel was far more likable, and a nice, charming, simple, creative hero, but then again, I didn't really fall in love with him, though I do appreciate his determination and unbending attitude. Overall, I can describe this story as a modern-day spin on Romeo-Juliet with people rather families with power and money taking over the role of 'divider' between the two. And I also liked how the suspense (though not too heavy) was interlaced with the story, making it all the more interesting.
4 angst filled stars.