Imagine being a teenager, falling in love, only for that person to die and never be heard from again. That's exactly what happens to Kanai. Life was complicated and Quay made it simple for her. Their initial reaction to each other is just like any other teenage love affair, they deny it, only to reveal that their feelings are the same. After a heartfelt night of teenagers embarking on adulthood, something unexpected happens, halting their budding romance and things were never the same. "If you never heal from what hurts you, you'll bleed on people that didn't cut you."
When we reach the second half of the story, Kanai is an adult, a single mom that's trying to make things better for her and her daughter. Uprooting her family and leaving her boyfriend, Kanai heads to Florida, hoping to better her and her daughter's life. She even brings along her mother, Poppy, and even though their relationship isn't traditional, you can still feel the love between them. When Kanai goes to a professional boxing match with her coworker Toya, her world is rocked.
Quay's life is altered because of the decisions of his dad and for that he resents him. Certain things are taught and bred in the 'hood and his father, Gerald, seems to have missed that class. When Quay is uprooted from his hometown and the love of his life, he never expects to see her again, adding on to the resentment for his dad. " You know you were my best friend and it hurt that we just fell off the way we did. When it first happened I didn't blame you for your anger but after a while I began to have a chip on my shoulder and stopped caring about your pain." But when fate steps in, things change, and Quay has to make some tough decisions so he'll never lose her again.
This was my second read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the originality of the storyline and some of the other key components of the book. The fact that Kanai had vitiligo made me love her character even more. Poppy, Kanai's mother, almost stole the show. I loved her humor. "Trick please. I'ma hustler, not a prostitute!" Imani was one of the sweetest and smartest children that I ever read about and I simply adored her. I loved this book, the fact that it was a standalone, with a character named Qiana, and featured comedy, made it an overall win and great read for me.