Review: Patch Up by Stephanie Witter

Patch Up (Patch Up, #1)
**Due to some shocking scenes, this novel is for readers of 18 and up.

Skye followed her long time boyfriend to Seattle for their first year of college, but he dumped her after only a week. The relationship brought only pain and destruction in Skye's life, and yet, she can't bring herself to open up and live her life.

"What if I am already broken into pieces?"

She hates to be touched, hiding under her oversized shirts and behind her wild frizzy hair. Even her bubbly roommate can't reach her. And yet ...

"I'm the guy who knows how you can hurt so much that your insides feel like they're cut and bleeding."

The tall, handsome, and tattooed TA in her psychology class changes everything when he literally collides with her and confronts her. For the first time in a long time, she wants to try and open up to this guy whose dark, intense eyes can't hide his own pain despite his dazzling smile getting to her.

However, just when she's starting to live again, her ex-boyfriend comes back, breaking her time and time again, making it all the more complicated.

She wants to fight for herself and for this building thing with the TA, even when he pushes her away, but can two broken people patch each other up?

"I never thought colliding with someone could change lives, but it is possible."

Buy links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
4 stars

This book had me thinking even hours after I read it. It was in my TBR list when I first saw it making rounds during its cover reveal. The blurb sounded interesting and I thought it would be something I'd really enjoy. So later when it was finally released and the reviews poured in, I was surprised that the ratings didn't even complete 4 stars. I read some of the 3-star reviews and my interest in it kind of waned. 

When I was given the opportunity to read and review, I thought why not. I decided to go into this with a blank slate and not let the not-so-happy reviews affect my reaction to the story.

I'm glad I did read it. Although Patch Up didn't quite make my 5-stars (although not every NA book does, I only reserve 5 for books that hit me personally, so basically 4 stars is my highest rating, haha) I still thought it was really good! 

Main Characters:

Skye is the typical domestic abuse victim. She is insecure, doesn't trust easily, and the thought of people finding out about her situation is soooo humiliating for her, she thinks it's better to just stay away from her abuser (Sean, her ex-boyfriend from high school) or just bear the blows whenever he gets his hands on her.

Duke is someone who suffers from survivor's guilt. Someone very important to him died in a car crash (he was in the same vehicle as well) and that destroyed him for a couple of years. He was on a downward spiral, but eventually he got his act together and straightened out his life as best as he could. He's not completely out of it though. He gave up drugs, but he occasionally slept around and kept escaping to the cemetery when things with Skye got too real/serious.

Not that Skye was any better when it came to their budding relationship. She kept on hiding from Duke especially at the beginning when he vowed to be her friend. As someone with trust issues, Skye couldn't understand why this strong, handsome guy would give her the time of day. It took a while before she realized that Duke is also vulnerable. Most of the time his strong facade is just for show. I also thought he was strong only when it came to other people's issues--Skye's in particular--but when it came to his own problems, he was very, very vulnerable.

My Two Cents:

I can understand the whole "one step forward, two steps back" dance Skye and Duke took with their relationship. Both had their down times, and later they'd wake up and want to try again. The problem is they usually don't have the right timing! LOL When Skye would take initiative and reach out to Duke, he's the one who's hung up over his issues and crouched over the grave of his deceased. When Duke gets out of his funk, Sean finds Skye and drives her to another emotional shut-down.

I get why some readers didn't like that. It can be frustrating, and normally I'd be pissed off too and immediately click a 3 or 2-star rating. However, this is really the reality of people who are in Skye's and Duke's shoes. I can't just dismiss their actions as stupid and immature. Abuse victims do become emotionally numb and would hide all their life if they don't get real with their situation and seek help. People who grieve their loved ones so much will find it hard to move forward, especially if living and loving someone else will feel like a betrayal of the relationship they once had with their dearly departed. 

It is stories like Patch Up that opens my eyes to the different emotions and mental conditions people can go through. Yes, I can easily say that if that if I were in their shoes, I'd do things differently. But I also know that until I AM in their shoes, until I feel the same pain, I can never be truly sure about what I would do. 

So, I am giving four stars to Patch Up because I think it was able to portray real emotions and actions from people with the same background as Skye and Duke. You don't have to like. You can hate it, but you'll just have to acknowledge that it's real.

All that aside, here are some things I wish were added in the story:
- More romance! Just some more sweet moments because it got too serious at times.
- I wish Skye's dad had a chance at Sean! *wild cackle*
- An update on Sean and his mom. I also wish his dad got punished in some way. His son going to prison doesn't count, in my opinion. He needs something worse!
- Update on Kate and Derek.
- An epilogue! Enough said.

Thank you to the author for a chance to read and review!



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