Collateral by Ellen Hopkins
"Meet Ashley, a graduate student at San Diego State University. She was raised in northern California reading poetry and singing backup in her best friend’s band. The last thing she ever expected was to end up a military wife. But one night, she meets a handsome Marine named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man she’d always presumed to be true; he’s passionate and romantic, and he even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a deeply felt, sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole desperately wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a college professor, with similar professional pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war."- summary from Amazon
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins. Her books are just absolutely amazing and touch on so many different subjects and struggles that people go through. Dealing with a significant other in the Marines (or in any branch of the Armed Forces) is something that so many people have gone or are going through.
It's heartbreaking reading Ashley's tale and everything she goes through. The book flips back and forth between the past (when she first meets Cole) and the present (after being with him for five years) with Cole's poems in between each section break. I liked the idea of Cole's poems being in there too to get a little perspective into him.
I do feel like the other man bit took way too long to get to and it felt a bit rushed when it did happen. Not to say that it didn't feel right when they started to see each other, but I would've liked a bit more lead-up to it. Either way, it led to a heart-wrenching climax and I didn't want to see the book end.
Overall, another wonderful read from Hopkins and I highly recommend it as I do all her other books.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.