5 “I’m here with you” STARS
This was my first Mary Elizabeth read and I'm in awe. I like real, raw, beautiful disarray and this was all of that. I felt so much with this story and was constantly torn between right and wrong because life isn’t that simple and the forces at work can make a man with a good heart do bad things.
Lowen (Low) Seely is born into a hard, depressing and desolate life that very few ever escape. And for many, it's not for a lack of dreaming or trying but rather the harsh reality that society doesn't make it easy. He's from the dark side of the Southland with a father incarcerated for life and a mother doing her best to make ends meet for him and his younger sister. Being the "man" in the family, from a very young age, when life gives you very few opportunities and means will make you desperate and reckless.
Poesy (Poe) Ashby is drawn to Low and doesn't care about rich or poor, right or wrong, or anything else but being with him. And for Low, Poe is IT. She makes life worth living and despite all the darkness and hopelessness surrounding them, with her, it's worth it.
I consumed this story in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. And while it’s definitely a modern day Bonnie and Clyde story, it’s original, consuming and poignant.
And Mary Elizabeth’s words…were just beautifully poetic. I highlighted dozens of pages as her captivating words unfolded this heartbreaking, disquieting and beautifully chaotic love story. Here are just some of the quotes that had me breathless:
“Rose thorns and grass clippings, bus rides and forbidden kisses.”
“I shredded innocence with heavy threats and killed hopes with gunfire.”
“Panic is guilt’s favorite companion, tag-teaming sanity and heart until I can’t think clearly or rationalize.”
If you're up for a wild ride that will you have you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, you have to read Low!!
** ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. **
“Keep the engine running,” I say. “If I’m not out in five minutes, leave.”
Poe nods her head, but doesn’t argue.
When the nine o’clock hour comes, both she and I watch the clock on the dashboard turn to one minute after.
“You’ll need to keep your mask on, Poesy. Make sure none of your hair is showing,” I say. “Keep your head down the entire time.”
“Okay,” she answers in a small voice.
“If you see cops—”
“I know what to do, Lowen. I know you want me to leave you.” She sighs. “But I don’t know if I can.”
Despite our circumstances, I smirk. “Hopefully you won’t have to.”
At nine thirty, Poe and I switch seats, and she gets behind the wheel while I load the pistol. With hands that shake uncontrollably, I place the ski mask over my head but don’t pull it down my face. I help Poesy with hers, tucking in every stray strand of hair so they remain unseen.
She grabs my wrist, and our eyes meet. I see fear combined with love and loyalty in her stare.
I kiss her knuckles and promise with the chance of lying, “We’re going to be okay.”
Unlike when we drove into the garage, the streets are alive and filled with a variety of automobiles, and dirty sidewalks carry several pedestrians. The forty-second drive to the bank feels like forty years. Thick blood courses through my veins, and I feel it flow through arteries and vessels, nourishing muscle and bone. My head echoes with the thump, thump, thump of my hard heartbeat. Every breath is shallower than the one before it.
“Pull down your mask,” I say, but my voice sounds foreign and feels a million miles away.
As Poe drives into California Credit Union’s parking lot, I grip the cold steel in my hand.
The edges of my vision blur; I’m blinded by adrenaline.
My skin crawls like I’m covered in spiders; I’m delirious with edginess.
“Your ski mask,” Poesy shrieks. “Cover your fucking face, Lowen.”
My girl reaches over and pulls it down for me. The car stops to a screeching halt, and reality crashes into me in a brutal rush, stripping me of air and voice.
“If we’re in this, you need to go,” Poesy says in a calm but stern tone, hidden behind her black mask.
There’s peace in her eyes.
There’s strength in the girl who stayed with me when I was locked up.
The one who’s remained by my side, believing and starving all at the same time.
With the gun in my hand and determination in my heart, I leave Poesy in the car and push open the glass double doors into the bank.
As I step foot onto the burgundy carpet, I yell, “Everyone down on the fucking floor!”