Review: Saving Forever (#3, The Ever Trilogy) by Jasinda Wilder

My Thoughts

The perfect conclusion to a heart wrenching series. 
Deeply moving, profound and beautifully written,
this has been a wholly unforgettable series.

6stars

Synopsis

saving foreverEver and Cade,

Sorry I vanished like I did. I’m not sure I can even explain things. I don’t know when I’ll be back. IF I’ll be back. I’m not sure of anything, except that I love you, Ever. You’re my twin, my best friend, and leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I know you don’t understand. Maybe you never will. I hope you don’t, honestly. It would be easier that way. That’s cowardly, I’m sure.

Cade, take care of her. Love her, the way she deserves. The way you always have, for forever and always. 

If I could ask you anything, it’s that you remember me as I was, and forget me as I am. 

I’m sorry, and goodbye, and I love you.

Eden

My Review

“Sometimes, all you can do is push through. Make mistakes and accept them. You can’t always make the right decision. Sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes there’s just everything getting all fucked up, and the only thing you can do is go through it and pick up the pieces on the other side. Forgiveness is a choice, and so is love.”

Every now and then, you come across a story with the power to shatter you with its honesty, it’s realness … even it’s ugliness. The power to consume you with the complexity of its characters, the depth of the turmoil they feel and the impossible situation they find themselves in. This is that book … this series.  In addition, this incredible story is delivered beautifully, the writing piercing, poetic and poignant. I felt my way through this entire series and this final installment finally brought all the pieces together, the pieces of the lives of these four people, the pieces of their hearts that had been splintered by the force of tragedy. The story of Caden, Ever, Eden and Carter underscored the message that sometimes life falls way short of a fairy tale. Sometimes, fate backs you up against a corner. And sometimes amidst the messiness of life and the ugliness of it all, we make the wrong choices. Choices that will forever mark the remainder of our lives. But choices, that sometimes, save us in the end.

“… right now, I need you. I need you to love me. I need you to tell me it’s going to be okay. Lie to me, if you have to, and tell me everything will be okay. I’m lost, Cade. And you’re the only north I have.”

From the moment that Ever wakes up, she’s lost. A shell of whom she was. She’s adrift in a sea of uncertainty. She doesn’t know how she’ll recover, if she’ll recover parts of whom she was before … physical and emotional. Eden left and Cade is not wholly present. He seems to be adrift himself, consumed by pain he’s unwilling to share. Ever is desperate for some normalcy and she needs her one true love to be the person he was before. She needs him to love her, heart and soul, and not treat her as a fragile piece of glass that isn’t able to share the weight of his mysterious burden. In a time where she needs solid ground, everything wavers and Caden drifts further and further away with each passing day.

“Without Cade as my center, I was adrift, castaway. I couldn’t find the earath beneath me, couldn’t find the sky. Couldn’t find up, or down. I could only slip from one day to the next…. It was all empty. I was empty.”

Cade is consumed by his guilt. The feeling of being pounded by it was palpable. Every time I read a Caden chapter, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe, asphyxiated by regret and culpability. My heart truly broke for him and I reiterate what I’ve said before, he is one of the most tragic characters of which I’ve ever read. He’s had to go through so much in life, has endured so much loss. His “entire life had been nothing but pain.” The love he feels for Ever is true – has always been true – but the affection he’s able to show has been weakened by remorse. It’s as if every touch is tainted by the guilt of what transpired with Eden. And now, with the added guilt of not being the person Ever needs him to be, Cade crumbled before our eyes.

“I’m sorry… for being broken when you need me to be whole.”

In the meanwhile, while Cade struggled with the shame, Eden escaped it. She couldn’t parade the fruits of their indiscretion in front of Ever. She couldn’t hurt her any longer. She too is lost. For so long she’s lived in her sister’s shadow and now she’s all alone, trying to figure out who she is, trying not to be defined by the life that grows inside of her. Her character growth in this final book is striking. She needed to want to be happy. She needed to feel worthy of it by the end.

“I hadn’t loved Cade. Almost, though. I’d almost fallen in love with him. I’d seen it happening, felt my heart curling outward and trying to latch onto him. But he didn’t love me and never could and never would, even if Ever hadn’t woken up, and anything we’d ever have would’ve been established on all the wrong foundations, and I refused to let that happen. I wanted better for myself.”

Eden finds herself face-to-face with a beautiful stranger that doesn’t say a single word, but that somehow with a look or a touch already begins to help Eden. Carter has also experienced unspeakable tragedy (literally in his case), but there’s something haunting and beautiful about the pain and potential he sees in Eden’s eyes. In my opinion, Carter is the change agent in this impossible situation. He’s the catalyst that would change it all and I loved him instantly. As Cade and Ever were trying to save their forever, Carter and Even were inadvertently saving each other too.

“I wondered how long I could keep pretending to myself that I didn’t have feelings for Eden that went past friendship, and how long Eden could pretend the same thing about me.”

The story, told in the point-of-views of our four tortured protagonists, takes two diverging paths that converge near the end. Eden and Carter begin to know each other, begin to share the painful experiences of their lives very gradually, and their story instilled hope for me. Hope that some goodness will come for some of these characters. Cade and Ever’s story felt so intense and heavy and tragic and I just didn’t know how they would be able to save what they had. The chasm that had formed between them had continue to widen by the force of guilt, betrayal, disappointment and uncertainty. Was their relationship irrevocably torn apart, or could time and effort fuse it back together? I felt like Ever also did a lot of growing up, forced by circumstance perhaps, but it’s her strength that insists on getting their relationship on the right track. It’s her perseverance that demands Caden to wake up and react and love her as she knows he does.

“We had forever, and it was taken from us… Let’s save our forever, Cade. Please. Let’s take it back.”

The story comes to heart-stopping climax that literally had me breathless. I feared how it all would culminate after everything everyone had already been through. But I have to say Jasinda Wilder executed this beautifully. It was raw. Real. Painful. Complicated. But in the end, I thought, perfect. All the pieces settled into place, as they should be, in a way that perhaps was not possible should the mess not have taken place at all. Because sometimes with the ugliness of life comes unexpected beauty.

This has been Jasinda’s best work in my opinion. I know many have been scared to read this series due to the emotional intensity, and some have even shunned it due to the unexpected twists in book 2, but I propose that if you are a fan of reading a book that will evoke emotion – whether it be good or bad – especially one that mimics the compelling reality of life, is a book successful with its intent and made powerful by it’s raw and gritty nature. I urge you to give this series a chance and immerse yourself in the untraditionally beautiful and moving story of these four tortured souls that found an unconventional way to save their forever.

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

  forever and always after forever saving forever

SAVING FOREVER

About Jasinda
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.
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