Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Come Back to Texas (Twelve Beats an a Bar #1) by KK Hendin


Everyone thought we’d be the ones who made it through high school. The ones who’d get married and stay married forever. The example of how young love can work.

We thought so, too.

Too bad life had other plans.

It’s been three years since Hayley and Nate broke each other’s hearts. Three years, and a lot has changed. Hayley’s a freshman in Bushwick University, and the only things keeping her sane are stress baking, and her a cappella group, Twelve Beats in a Bar.

Nate’s a Marine, stationed in Afghanistan. The only thing that’s keeping him sane is the last picture he has of him and Hayley, and the hope that maybe when the hell of deployment is over, he can find her again and apologize.

One explosion will change everything.

When a bomb kills all of Nate’s unit, leaving him missing a leg and eyesight in one eye, he’s sent back home to Texas. Texas, where he loved Hayley more than he could possibly imagine ever loving anyone else.

With seemingly endless amounts of free time and needing something to distract himself, Nate starts making YouTube videos, imploring Hayley to come back to him, and come back to Texas.

Hayley’s life is wrapped around the Beats, making sure she doesn’t flunk out of biology class, and babysitting Ohio’s smallest monster, Brandon. She doesn't want to admit it, but she misses Nate more than anything.

It’s too bad she doesn’t know just how much he misses her, too…

My Review

ARC given in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this book, but it took me a little while to get into it. It takes place in the present, but we are given flashbacks to tell us the story of how Nate and Hayley became a couple. So the story jumps around and at first it wasn't very obvious when we were getting a flashback. I found it to be a bit confusing, but once I caught on to how the author was using the flashback plot device the book because easier to read.
"Good luck not regretting the stupid shit you’ve done."
Those are the last words Hayley says to Nate. They dated when they were in high school, but broke up when he enlisted into the Marines. It was a very bad break up and they haven't spoken to each other since. It's almost 4 years later and Hayley is now a freshman in college. She is trying she is making a life for herself, but has never really gotten over Nate. Hayley has a supportive roommate and a fantastic group of friend, but she becomes increasingly distracted by thoughts of him and it begins to affect her everyday life.

Meanwhile, Nate has never gotten over Hayley. He frequently thinks of her while he is deployed and even keeps a picture of the two of them with him at all times. After he gets hurt, starts to make videos asking Hayley to "come back to Texas." He starts them as something to do because he is in the hospital and is bored out of his mind.  The videos become a kind of therapy for him and people start to watch them, like a lot of people. Nate also starts to get the people he knows and meets along the way to add in their two cents. 

Here's the thing...while I really liked the videos Nate made for Hayley, I just wish she had seen them sooner. And if they were such a hit on YouTube and according to Hayley's roommate, Facebook, why didn't they come into play sooner. Hayley told her friends about Nate so they could have easily put two and two together. Youths! Aren't they supposed to be good with this stuff?  It just kind of felt like a lost opportunity, but they ultimately served their purpose, so i guess that is something. 

I really liked Nate and Hayley as a couple. The way they meet is cute and it isn't long until they are spending almost all of their time together. Despite Nate being a few years old than Hayley, the two of them have a great connection and are super comfortable with each other. They have a wonderful relationship, until they don't. After Nate's grandmother passes away things deteriorate quite rapidly. This leads to Hayley saying the quote above, the aforementioned bad break up and Nate leaving for the Marines.  Cut to the present and where the book starts. 

I look forward to reading the companion novella to this one. I hope that Hayley and Nate are able to move forward and work out their issues. It's clear they still love each other and whether or not they will get back together will depend on a lot of things. They are both older and SO MUCH has happened while they were apart.  

Amazon buy link:


KK Hendin’s real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she’ll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. She’s the author of the NA contemporaries HEART BREATHS and ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.

THIS MUCH SPACE is the second book in her new series, TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR.

KK spends way too much time on Twitter (where she can be found as @kkhendin), and rambles on occasion over at


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