Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Delinquents (Dusty #2) by Mary Elizabeth and Sarah Elizabeth

The innocent girl with a delinquent heart has to live with her bad choices. Secret hope and hurt feel like falling while she learns how to breathe again, but there's still freedom in trouble.

The runaway with blacked-out eyes is losing his grip. Crushing two hearts in one fist, his addiction bends rules and breaks deals, but the boy born for bliss isn't going anywhere without a fight.

Love is knowing they should stay away, but love is illogical at best.

She's afraid to let go.

He won't let her.

This is how silliness and foolishness grow up.

Here, forever is a lie.



5+ -Love is fucked-up, but love is all there is.-  SMOOCHES

I don’t care where he’s been or what he’s done.  I’ll love bloody knuckles and a filthy conscience just as much as clear blue eyes and the warmest laugh.  High as a kite or in tears on his knees, he can be gone as long as he’s right here.  I don’t care.  I just want him back.

In Innocents, Mary and Sarah left us with a gaping hole in our hearts.  Delinquents is book two in the Dusty series and innocent love isn’t so innocent anymore. 

I love a boy who can’t get his shit together, but without him I can’t breathe.

GAHHHH these kids have wrecked me!  Dusty and Bliss are so self-destructive and I couldn’t help but watch it all unfold with bated breath.  Bliss is addicted to Dusty to the point that she is aware that she enables him, but can’t be the one to save him, for risk of losing him completely.  It doesn’t matter what he does… the drugs… the girls…  Bliss will take him in whatever form she can. 

When I’m in bed and Thomas is out doing whatever it is that he does, it’s all I have to remind myself that he wasn’t always this way.  There was a time when we were innocent and genuine, and young, stupid in love.

Dusty, Dusty, Dusty. I feel so attached to him.  Yes he is an asshole to the nth degree.  He treats Bliss and his family like complete shit.  I get all of that.  But I love him to pieces.  Watching his story unfold, seeing all of the pivotal moments that could have lead him down a better path, left me with a huge soft spot for this delinquent.  Being inside of his head, I feel like I know his heart.  I can see past all of the mistakes to the boy who is hurting…  To the boy that fell helplessly in love with the girl he couldn’t have… the boy who wants to be good enough to love her in the light, but is so far gone that he can’t dig himself out of the gutter.

..she’s my shelter, and knowing you’d die without someone isn’t romantic.

Bliss is the one person who truly gets Dusty.  She accepts him wholly and loves him without restraint.  But, that love comes at a great price.

Dusty loves me too hard, too deep, too far, but it’s the kind of madness I crave.  It hurts but it’s familiar to me and comfortable like home, because loving this person has hurt for as long as I can remember.  It’s how I know I’m doing it right.

Dusty and Bliss are lost in an endless cycle of addiction.  Their struggle is raw.  It is real.  I guarantee, you knew a Dusty and Bliss growing up.  Maybe it was you.  The girl so infatuated with her first love that she can see nothing else.  The boy who turns to drugs to escape his life and never finds his way back. 

That’s the thing about this love.  It’s a thousand times stronger than both of us, even together, and the deeper this boy pushes, the better falling feels.

It’s been said that this book “glorifies drug abuse,” when in fact it does quite the opposite.  Mary and Sarah have woven together a heartbreakingly beautiful story that yes, is centered around addiction, but in no way is it romanticized.  Dusty and Bliss don’t have an easy love.  One is addicted to drugs and a girl that is out of his reach.  The other addicted to a love that will never fully be hers.  This story is not filled with ponies and rainbows.  It cuts deep.  It hurts.  It bleeds. 

“You hate me?” he whispers harshly in my ear.  “I wish I could hate you, Bliss, because this”—he squeezes me harder—“this is killing me.”

If you love great writing and a good story that touches you to your core, I highly recommend the Dusty series by the Elizabeths.  This has become one of my favorite series!  I can’t remember another that made me FEEL as much as this one.  I am addicted… to this amazing story and the poetic writing of Mary and Sarah.  Do yourself a favor and READ. THESE.  BOOKS!

Love never taught me how to swim.  He taught me how to cling to him, and all I want in this moment is to pull him under with me… Love is sinking, and it’s taking us both.  Love is knowing this is just as much my fault as his, because I allowed it.  I invited it when I pushed his patience at every turn.  I made love lie.  I made love a secret when he begged me not to.

5 ++ Smooches
The truth is not easy.
My truth:  I love a lost cause.  I love a failure, and I lost myself in him when I was nine years old.
There are two sides to every story, and this story is no different. In Innocents, we first met Bliss and Dusty and I fell in love with these two as they fell in love with each other. Delinquents is a continuation of their story and it gutted me.

Dusty's downward spiral into drug use continues as does the unhealthy relationship between the two teens.  Dusty may be addicted to drugs but Bliss is addicted to Dusty and their dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship.

I accept his drug-induced bullshit, because buried in that craziness is our own kind of love.  Nothing compares to that.  But love is battling cocaine for love's attention.  She's created a trio out of our duo.  His drug is the other girl. - Bliss

Delinquents is told from both Bliss and Dusty's points of view (and a bonus third POV that ROCKED my world!) so we see it all.  We see how Bliss' desire to keep their relationship a secret impacts Dusty and is a big reason he falls deeper into drugs.

Whatever the reasons, love still won't try for me, but she'll lie for us without missing a beat.  She sneaks and distorts and covers unflinchingly, and it's flawless now.  It's laughable how unaware everyone is at this point.  It'd be funny if I wasn't the secret. - Dusty

And we see how Dusty's self-destructive choices make Bliss want to remain in their secretive world.

I'm generally not a fan of books with addiction but the way Mary and Sarah tell this story, the way they bring cocaine to life in this book, it lured me in.  Don't get me wrong, they certainly don't romanticize it or make it desirable ... they just make it work and weave a story that is raw and real.

I try to remember the last time I looked at my girl through non-addicted eyes.  I've been lit through each I love you, spun through each touch, and drunk-waste through each don't ever leave me.  All the affection I've ever shown this girl has been habit-stained and guilty.  She never had a chance against a monster like me.  - Dusty

Delinquents had so many moments that had me holding my breathe, reading through tear-flooded eyes.  As hard as some of the events in the book were hard to get through, I loved every moment of this story.  The writing is lyrical magic and I hung on every word.  This series is definitely not for everyone.  It's sad and depressing and really makes you want to hurl your kindle against the wall out of frustration.  In spite of this sadness, it is a beautiful story that I would recommend to anyone who can appreciate the beauty of heartbreak.

Group Read Feedback:

We read the Dusty series with the girls in our blog group read.  Here is what a few of them had to say!

Paola: I know you all know that I'll give 5 stars 10 stars all the stars for Dusty and Bliss ! I Love love love them.

Dena: Omg Dusty Dusty Dusty I can not believe how addicted to this series I was! I couldn't put it down, this will be one of those stories that will stay with me a long long time! Loved it!

Liz:  5 stars!! Beautifully written and gut-wrenching beyond words. If you want to get lost for awhile this is the book (series) to read. Your heart will never be the same...mine isn't. A Dusty disciple for life.

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths--a duo brave enough to never hide the truth.
Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She's a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it's perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she's not letting go until every story is told.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."--Jeremiah 17:9


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