It took me forever to get into this.Precisely, it took me all of 10(ish) chapters to get into it. I was constantly giving up, and picking it up again, and I was just about to give up for the last time when things started happening and then I didn't want to give up on it anymore.It starts out really slow, and I really mean slow. The blurb doesn't really give an inclination on what it is that happens for the story to finally start getting anywhere, and I just didn't know what to expect and when to expect it so I was kind of jittery throughout and I almost started skimming over everything until something caught my attention, but my guilty conscience got the better of me so I took my time reading it.So I'll do something now that I rarely do, and I actually hate it when reviewers kind of repeat the blurb. But seeing how vague it is, I'll tell you what happens, because I wish I knew before I started reading and all Google search returned nothing at all about it. No spoilers on how the story actually unfolds or ends, but still, I'll spoiler-tag it.The story starts out with an introduction of Emma, a divorcee trying to start over after having to close down her catering business, apparently ruined by her husband, and her picture-perfect, eighteen year old daughter, Lauren, a talented musician and full of life, who is about to start her adult life and is loved by everyone.Then we get to meet Sylvie Lomax, a (pathetic, jealous, self-centered) drunk, her husband, Russ, who is just about to give up on her and their marriage, and their son, Oliver, a twenty-one year old young man, just out of school, who has a promising future ahead of him.Nothing connects these two families, at least for those first ten-ish chapters, where we are told how much trouble Emma has finding a job and starting over. Lauren is having this huge secret that we find nothing about yet. Oliver is trying to get over feeling like a disappointment to his father compared to Charlie, his brother. Sylvie's alcoholism mixed with jealousy are getting way out of hand, and Russ is having an affair with her friend Fiona.It all comes together the night Oliver goes to a party, starts drinking, and Lauren is up to something, and lies to her mother about her whereabouts that night. For me, I wouldn't mind if this is the place where the book actually started.At the same time, Sylvie finds out about Russ's affair, makes a frantic phone call to Oliver making him believe she is about to end her life. Oliver, beside himself, sits in his car even though he's had to drink and sets off for his mother's. Lauren's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, her phone has no reception, she's only a couple of miles away from home, so she gets out and starts to walk home on foot.This is the moment their lives collide, quite literally, when Oliver hits Lauren with his car in this middle of nowhere, leaving her fighting for her life, and him fighting his guilty conscience and (completely justified) criminal charges...and the real story starts.The characters were so vivid and colorful and most importantly, believable. The story, once it picks up, is unbelievably engrossing. The writing was so good, I literally couldn't put it down. I have started crying a couple of times during the book, seeing a mother struggle like that, seeing her daughter in a new light, trying to fight the blame her ex-husband puts on her for what happened. A father trying to keep his family together. It was all heartbreaking to read.I understood what Oliver was going through, as well as his fascination with Lauren. This is really something that could happen today, what with people using Facebook and Youtube to basically catalog their lives. It's easy to get an impression you might actually get to know somebody who puts themselves out there for everyone to see. I get it that he fell...in like with her.There is a moment when he realizes that he might have taken her from himself, and will probably never get a chance to meet her and be in her life and have her in his. It's actually heartbreaking. He was holding on to this little hope that she will make it through and wake up, and I was amazed that he never lost it. I was genuinely happy for him when she did wake up.Lauren's little indiscretion with her teacher (the beast, I swear) wasn't exactly unexpected (I was expecting it to be something major seeing how much mystery there was about where she was before the accident), but it did surprise me who it turned out to be. I was certain it was the school headmaster actually.Emma and Russ are both such strong characters, too. I was so happy to see that things are kind of heading the way they were with the two of them in the end, because they definitely need each other in their lives.The bit that annoyed me is how they kept focusing on the fact that Oliver could lose his driving license. Who cares about that in the end? It would have been the last of my worries, I think. The bigger issue would be if he had to do jail time, or even worse, if Lauren actually died and Oliver faced even worse charges. I just think that losing his driver's license wouldn't be a huge deal, considering other things.Let me just say that I don't willingly read books that make me cry. But at times there were tears of joy too, and I can't say I regret reading this. It really was a wonderful read.So, if you are picking this up, and you find the beginning a bit slow and are about to give up, please continue. It's worth it in the end, I promise.Also, the cover is gorgeous, but inaccurate. The heroine is supposed to be blonde (honey-golden was the color of her hair, or something like that). It just irked me a bit, but it's not a big deal.