Into the Deep: Samantha Young

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Live young. Live hard. Love deep.
Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.
Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.
As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.
And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

We are all looking for a place in life, somewhere to fit. It's not a place that changes who we are or what we do--perhaps it shapes us, makes us better, makes us more--but mostly it shelters us with a sense of peace, a sense that whatever we do, whoever we are, we're not alone in it. I was lucky enough to to find that place when I was sixteen years old. It was carved deep in Jake. And that scared the hell out of me.
This is the story of two young people who found their soul mate at sixteen years old. Jake and Charley were perfectly matched in every way. They were fun, sarcastic, completely in love and totally committed. They had no doubt that they would be together forever. But it all changed in instant and they were ripped apart.

From the moment we'd met, he'd dragged me into the deep swearing to me he was in there with me. It was a lie. He's waded back out to the shallows and left me to drown.

Almost four years later, they meet again at the University of Edinburgh. Time has passed, but feelings simmer below the surface: regret, guilt, anger, pain, longing, and heartbreak. The story is told alternating in past and present and slowly unfolds as they try to deal with their present re-connection and come to terms with the past.  The mystery and suspense as the story was told in increments added serious tension. I swear I was in deep anticipation most of the time....waiting to find out what happened to break them, waiting for them to face it, waiting for them to realize they were meant to be together. I was torn between wanting it  to move faster to know what happened immediately and wanting to savor the story. It was so full of emotional and sexual tension that it made me on edge for most of the book.

In the present they have a core group of friends who were fun, supportive, unique and interesting. So their lives become intermingled and they are thrust into the same space often. That means Charley also has to deal with her issues with Jake, but also see him with his current girlfriend. It is a big mess of longing, miscommunication, and mixed feelings. And the tension not only occurred between Jake and Charley, but also their best friends Claudia and Beck who had their own set of issues, intense attraction, and resistance of feelings. These two couples affected the whole dynamic of their group of friends. 

Jake was sarcastic, cocky, and devoted as a teenager. But he became broken and suffered from circumstances. But in the present, he is still charismatic, funny, caring, and deeply emotional. But he is in a difficult situation and struggles between trying to do the right thing and make everyone happy. And there is no way to do that without someone getting hurt. But he has already hurt Charley in the past and he is guilt ridden and regretful. I really liked him a lot and felt for him, but sometimes he annoyed me with his decisions.

Charley went from being a  young free spirit who gave Jake total trust, to a woman that  is guarded, fearful, jealous and confused. Deep down she knows what she wants, but is terrified of the idea and getting hurt again. It is much easier to employ sarcasm, distraction, and avoidance techniques. Once trust is shattered, it is hard to come back from that. But sometimes I just wanted to shake sense into her as well.  

They have a magnetic pull, a strong bond, and undeniable chemistry. But will being around each other again heal them or ultimately just cause more pain?

"Baby, I don't think I ever moved on...And I'm starting to hope for the first time that you haven't moved on either."

All along, I felt the intensity between Jake and Charley and knew they were meant to be together. It was hard and painful to see their trials past and present. Some loves can be broken, but never really forgotten. They had a deep, soulful connection,  passion that would not die, and chemistry that would not quit. 

"I knew after weeks of meeting you that I was never going to love another girl like I love you. You're it for me. They write books about what we have..."

"But peace...that comes with feeling complete, and I haven't felt that way since I was seventeen and I walked away from a girl who could me laugh harder, feel harder, and burn harder than another other person in my world. You gave me peace, Charley, You did, You do."

It is a journey towards understanding, forgiveness, and reaffirmation of feelings. But it is complicated and does not happen easily or quickly. I have to admit that sometimes the pacing drove me crazy as I wanted it to move faster so I could see what happens next. And even though it did not end in a cliffhanger, they still have some issues to resolve and there is definitely more story to tell. The next book Out of the Shallows  is expected in 2014.

This was told in Charley's point of view (except for a bonus at the end in Jake's point of view).  I look forward to seeing the continuing story of Jake, Charley, Beck, Claudia, and their crazy friends. This book was well written, switched effortlessly from past to present, and pulled at many emotions. The characters were fully developed, passionate, intense, humorous, and emotional. I was very invested in these couples and was deeply affected by their beautiful story. This was a unique story of young love, lost love, and second chances. 

Thanks to Samantha Young for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET. INTO THE DEEP is her first new adult contemporary romance novel. 


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