Every Last Promise surprised me. It deals with a very sensitive topic – sexual assault, so be warned if it’s something that triggers you. It surprised me because the reader gets an in depth look into the inner workings of small town mentality on a range of issues. It’s daring and raw, brutal and honest.
At first, it starts out with a car accident in which a teen ends up dead, and Kayla becomes a pariah. That same night, before the accident, Kayla witnessed her classmate being sexually assaulted, but no-one but the perpetrators, Kayla and the victim knows this. Kayla ends up leaving for the summer, returning to find herself shunned and verbally abused, labelled a murderer. Kayla must decide between speaking out about what she witnessed, and remaining quiet.
It’s a deeply harrowing story. You get to see why witnesses and victims alike don’t speak up, how they’re targeted by this small town mentality, how they find it difficult to comprehend that their golden boy has committed a heinous act. Whilst I have no personal experience on the matter, Every Last Promisecertainly changed my perspective.
Kayla was a fantastic character. To see her develop, to make some questionable choices, was an emotional turmoil that left me enthralled in the book, and it made Every Last Promise a book I won’t be forgetting any time soon. She may be considered weak by some, and to a certain extent I agree. She didn’t find the courage to speak up and it had some deeply damaging effects of betrayal on her friend. In the end, perhaps it’s not resolved, but it’s the beginning.
I find it’s important that the reader is aware that this book is attempting to raise awareness for the rape culture we live in today and how this deeply affects small towns and the victims and witnesses of such crimes.
On a side note, I’d recommend reading the author’s note when you finish the book, it’s enlightening and makes you understand Kayla’s POV a bit more.
Overall, an emotional and moving read that I would highly recommend.
MY RATING: ★★★★★