I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
LIFERS is a different kind of love story told from the alternating points-of-view of the two main characters, Torrey and Jordan. It's different for me in that both characters are considered to have a "bad" reputation rather than just one, and I enjoyed that about this book.
Torrey is confident and witty - two qualities that had me liking her right away. She lives the way she wants to and not the way everyone else thinks she should, and I admire that about her. It's that confidence she has to live her own way that allows her to fall in love with Jordan and find something better in life to live for.
I would like to think I wouldn't be one of the people who judge Jordan after he comes home on parole. After hearing his story, I can see both sides simultaneously - Jordan's parents have to deal with a tremendous amount of loss and grief, and Jordan has guilt on top of his grief. He's decided to punish himself for the rest of his life and hasn't given himself time to grieve, which broke my heart.
One of my favorite parts of LIFERS is when Torrey tells her mom she's chosen love over hate - a powerful statement to make since her mom as a woman of God is supposed to do the same but hasn't because of her fears her reputation will be damaged. And Jordan's parents have chosen hate - they hate their own son more than they grieve their lost son. By giving in to hatred, they've lost both of their sons, blaming Jordan though he wasn't the only one to have made a bad decision that one fateful night.
LIFERS is a powerful story of grief and love, hypocrisy and redemption, and I was absorbed from the beginning. Torrey and Jordan have an unshakable love that, while not always beautiful, is real and true.