Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Breaking Nova (#1, Nova) by Jessica Sorensen - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Breaking Nova (#1, Nova) by Jessica Sorensen

My Thoughts

Achingly honest, intense and deeply heartbreaking.
A beautifully written book that consumed me and filled me with so much emotion. I felt it all… the pain, the sadness, the moments of hopelessness and the moments of hope. Powerful and poignant from beginning to end.



breaking nova coverNova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

My Review

“People say that time heals all wounds, and maybe they’re right…. But what if the wounds don’t heal correctly?”

Tragic. Heartbreaking. Sad. Intense. Moving. Hopeful. Admittedly, it’s been awhile since I’ve read one of Jessica Sorensen’s books and I had forgotten just how adept she is at channeling sadness… siphoning that crippling and all-consuming emotion into something that comes alive on the page. I could say this is a story about so many things, and at the same time, I could simply say that it’s about surviving. Or better yet, the subtle, but sweeping difference between existing and living. This story consumed me and held me captive, at the brink of it all becoming even too much for me as a reader. It’s just so honest and real and sad. And it’s on this precarious brink, this edge, that Jessica Sorensen’s skillful writing keeps us, immersed in the ups and downs of the story and invested in its complex, tortured characters. Our protagonists are two broken people that have experienced tragedy and have trapped themselves in the past, existing as barely-there shells of the people they used to be… not living the life they were meant to live.

“Nothing is good. Nothing is bad. Everything just exists, like me floating through life with no direction and no meaning.”

Nova Reed is lost. Drifting through life in a haze of self-induced numbness, she’s held entirely captive by the most horrible day of her life… the day her boyfriend committed suicide. After the death of her father, her boyfriend Landon had been her solace, her best friend, her first love. When he took his life, it crushed her. As if the old Nova died that day, the incident obliterated her sense of self, her dreams, her happiness. She loses herself in a string of endless, unrelenting questions. Why did he do it? Why didn’t she it coming? What could she have done differently? Anxiety consumes her from the inside out, so much so that she’s become obsessive compulsive about counting anything–cracks, branches, steps–to quell her rising panic… anything to keep her from facing her reality.

“I have my silence now, which is my healing, my escape, my sanctuary. Without it, I’d hear the noises of that morning, see the bleeding images, and feel the crushing pain connected to them. If I saw them, then I’d finally have to accept that Landon’s gone.”

When Nova meets Quinton, she’s struck speechless. He reminds her so much of Landon, he’s even an artist like him, with the tale-tell smudges of charcoal on his skin. But more significantly, Quinton carries the all-too recognizable anguish and torture in his sad, honey-brown eyes. As her entire world shifts and she is both simultaneously drawn to him and impelled to run, she wonders whether this is destiny’s way of giving her the opportunity to save him, like she couldn’t save Landon. Quinton, however, is a prisoner to guilt. He feels responsible for the tragedy he experienced, left not only with the guilt of two people’s deaths, but also the guilt of surviving. He feels undeserving of life, undeserving of kindness, undeserving of happiness. And like Nova, his torment has blurred him into a haze, drifting in and out of reality with the help of drugs to deaden the pain.

“Death hurts, death breaks, death consumes, and there’s no magic cure to making it go away.”

Together, however, there’s something. Something special that irrevocably connects them, something that coaxes unexpected smiles and something that yearns to help the other. Both are constantly fighting their feelings, caught between the desire to run and the desire to stay. Quinton feels as if he breaks promises he made to his girlfriend and in addition, that Nova is too good to be in his company. Nova feels as if she betrays Landon’s memory, making herself physically ill when she thinks of the unknown he represents. Being together is a dissonance of emotion… peace and distress, hope and fear.

“I’m terrified, because it feels like I’m tumbling off a cliff and I have no idea when I’m going to hit the bottom. Or if I ever will.”

Nova and Landon are both such complex individuals burdened by guilt and pain, and so lost in their thoughts and memories, that they struggle to dig themselves out of the depths of their despair. They are just so stuck. Their lives have been forever changed because of depth and suddenly life as they knew it just seems unreachable and impossible. But when they’re together, there are moments of life, of hope, of connection and at times they relish in it and it’s a beautiful thing to read.

“For an instant, I have something to hold on to again, a reason to keep breathing, to live.”

There are so many more layers to the story, and you don’t just read this book, you experience it. You feel it. One thing that does happen is that they become each other’s trigger for change. Towards the end of the book, they are both at a crossroads, with decisions to make as the future–the frightful unknown–lays before them both. Be warned that the book ends on a cliffhanger, there are some happier, uplifting moments, but by the last page, my heart was pumping and I badly wanted book 2. This is an incredibly powerful, honest, well-written story and I recommend you pick it up and experience your way through it.

“Quit or move forward. Heal or break. Fight or die.”




Grappling to breathe, I secure a finger underneath her chin, tip her face up, and press my lips to hers. She sucks in a sharp, stammering breath, then kisses me back like she’s been trapping her breath for ages and suddenly I’m supplying her with oxygen. I know I should pull back, but it’s been a long time since the emptiness inside me hasn’t been so hollow, and I find myself slipping my tongue into her mouth and kissing her back with way too much passion behind the kiss.

Things only get more intense when she traces her hand up the nape of my neck, then runs her fingers through my hair, drawing me closer, and the voice that’s haunted my head—the one telling me to stop— abruptly shuts up. I roll to my side, positioning my body over hers, lining us together, as I explore her mouth with my tongue. A few tears drip from my eyes and fall onto her cheeks, which are soaked with her own tears. She keeps gasping, pulling me closer, pressing her body against mine, like she needs me near her or she’ll die. Her legs circle my waist, and the dress she’s wearing slips up and her bare legs graze the outside of my jeans. My hands start to wander downward toward the bottom of her dress, wanting to feel the softness of her skin. But when I reach the bottom of the fabric, I can’t seem to go through with it, and at the same time her hands leave my hair. Just as quickly as it started, we stop it. Together. Both of us pulling away, panting, our eyes glossy with tears and regret as we roll onto our backs.

She cries soundlessly, with her arm draped over her head, and her chest wrenching as she cries. But I stop crying, staring at the cracks in the ceiling, letting myself die all over again.

Letting the hollowness take back over.

About Jessica

author pcitureThe New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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  11. Tracy said:

    I am a huge fan of Jessica Sorensen and this book was fantastic. The two main characters are so list with deeply wounded soles. Defiantly a must read.


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    Wilma’s Book Blog. I read this book and loved it. I can’t wait for the next one.


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