Seven years ago Zach was kidnapped by a paramilitary leader on a visit to Costa Rica, of all places, at age fifteen. He was kept captive for five years before being rescued by American troops following a device that his friend David designed (the device was on a Dutch tourist who had been kidnapped much later). During his time in Venezuela (where he'd been taken) he had been raped and tortured and literally treated like a dog. Not long after his rescue David tried to visit, only for Zach to completely lose it. It's now about two years after the rescue and David is back. Can there be a relationship between them?
I'm torn about this one. Maybe it's the massive headache I've been battling all day with the help of copious amounts of painkillers and water, I don't know. In a way it felt very melodramatic at times, just over the top. They can't simply have a disagreement or fight, oh no, surely every little bump in their relationship means that everything in OVER and will NEVER BE FIXED EVER, until it is five minutes later when things are okay again. The first couple times I could buy, but not when it just. kept. happening. Also, I'm not sure someone who has been raped and tortured for five years would immediately go out and start having sex with anonymous strangers months after getting out of the hospital.
Another thing I didn't like was the whole older brother/younger brother vibe I got from them. I get that they were really close as kids and practically grew up together (David's mom was the housekeeper for Zach's family and lived in her own house on their estate), but the way David talked to Zach grated on me after awhile. Calling someone 'dweeb' and 'idiot' works when they're basically a younger sibling and maybe even a friend, but not as a love interest. It just comes off as insulting, as if David didn't believe that Zach could even think for himself. And at one point David punched Zach. That really bothered me, especially since Zach used the 'I had a panic attack and walked into something' excuse later when explaining the state of his nose to his parents. Sure, that didn't happen again, but it's still a really huge red flag, especially since Zach had a history of being abused. Thrashing around in a nightmare and accidentally smacking David didn't make them 'even' in my opinion. David lost control and hit Zach, and Zach was like 'I was being a dick and deserved it'. No he fucking didn't. No one deserves being hit if they didn't start the hitting, which Zach didn't.
There were parts that were brilliant, such as the rescue scene, or the part where Zach tells the reporter about what it was like to kill his rapist, and for that reason I'm rating this story at three stars, but this is not a four or five star book in my opinion. There are parts that are very good, but there are so many flaws that I just can't get over. I liked it, it was okay, but definitely not the best thing I've read this week.