I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.
Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.
3.5 Stars - Worth A Reader's Time
Copy Received as a GiftWhen we first meet Dalton and Spencer, they are incredibly young. He is trapped in a life he doesn't want and she is the one bright spot. They seem to have a fairly typical relationship if you can look past their tragic pasts and his current bad situation. UNTIL the day Spencer turns 18. Spencer's birthday morphs from a sweet romantic date to a tragedy that separates them for nearly 5 years.
Even as hard as young Dalton was, I liked him. Spencer struck me as incredibly naive even once we knew the scars she carried with her. I liked her, but would have expected her to be a little more jaded. I think one of my favorite parts of Under The Influence was how the author transitioned between Parts 1 and 2 of the story. She used letters and emails that Spencer and Dalton would never send to give us glimpses into the way each were feeling during the time when they were separated. I also like the steps Dalton took to reveal himself to Spencer once they were both back in the same city. It was sweet and showed his devotion to her.
This is a book I enjoyed and I toyed with making it a 4 star read. The thing that kept me from doing that was that it seemed like the second half of the book didn't really have the same level of detail the first half did. I don't know if it's an issue of too much in the first half or not enough in the second, but I did notice the difference. This was my first L.B Simmons book, but I hope it won't be the last.