Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?
I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.
You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.
They both happened anyway.
Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.
Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.
I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.
Fighting Silence (On The Ropes Book 1) by Aly Martinez
“Every gasp of air was a struggle. Just as I would breach the surface, filling my lungs with hope and determination to make it through another day, I was forced back under-harder every time.” ~ Till Page
Fighting Silence is the first book in the On the Ropes series and I can’t wait for the next one because once I started, I could not put this down. This was a beautiful story about childhood friends to lovers, struggling to survive a shitty life handed to them, with parents who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about either one of them. The story spans several years and begins when Eliza Reynolds and Till Page meet at the tender age of 13, hiding out in an abandoned apartment away from the reality that is so harsh to them. It’s there that their friendship grows and as they get older, becomes something more. Theirs is a very deep, emotional and loving bond. For me, these two were soul mates from the moment they met. They were two poor kids struggling to be more and along the way, found the love that they were seeking from one another. But Till is terrified that Eliza (Doodle) will leave, terrified of losing this fantasy that they’ve created in their little apartment. So Till does the one thing that he never wanted to do; he leaves before she can. She’s off to college and because he was trying to take care of his younger brothers and work, he couldn’t even finish high school. Six months later with nowhere and no one else to turn to, Till goes back to Eliza, praying that he hasn’t lost her and wants to resume their friendship.
“There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you.” ~ Till Page
Eliza is torn. For one thing, Till already left her once and it almost broke her. On the other, she loves him and he is the only family that she really has. She can’t part with that. But he’s unwilling to believe that reality can be better than the fantasy that they created in that little abandoned apartment. These two go back and forth with where they stand in each other’s lives but ultimately they are just too perfect not to be together.
“I wanted to spend forever with you at thirteen. Nothing has or ever will change that. Eliza, I love you. And I am unquestionably serious about spending the rest of my life with you.” ~ Till Page
Everything about this story, beginning to end, moved me. The book and its characters tugged at the heart strings big time. Till’s little brothers, Flint and Quarry, are such a big part of the book and I loved Till even more for always taking care of them, for being both brother and father. Till is the kind of character that you absolutely love and at the same time, wanted to smack upside the head on occasion. Stubborn and proud, overprotective and loving, not believing that good things can happen, can stay. I adored Eliza as a strong woman who knows that she loves Till and wants to make him wake up and see that their reality can be better than their fantasy. Even the side characters of Slate (from the Wrecked & Ruined series) are perfect in the book. I can not wait to read more from this amazing author.