Four Years Later by Emma Doherty
Published: May 01, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Becca McKenzie is happy—crazy, ridiculously happy.
She might not have figured out what she wants to do with her life, but she has something better—Ryan Jackson—and they couldn’t be more in love if they tried. He might have been pissed when she went off to a different college, but they make the long distance work because they’re “Becca and Ryan”, and nothing is going to break them.
Until it does.
Until one terrible, unforgettable night away from Ryan. Until too much drinking and one empty bedroom. Until fifteen minutes of hell completely destroys her life and leaves Becca questioning everything she’s ever known.
Until that night turns into a lie she can’t stop—can’t control.
Until she said no but he didn’t listen.
This book really surprised me. Four Doors Down was so light and fluffy and very high school and Four Years Later pretty much destroyed me. It was so hard to read and my heart hurts when I think about it. It took me a while to really like Four Doors Down and when I finally did, I was so excited that there was a second book. I was excited to see what my ship was up to, wedding bells and so on and I just didn’t expect what happened. Four Years Later started off like Four Doors Down, with me kind of annoyed by Becca. I thought that four years should be enough time to help her mature but I guess not. She had gotten better but she still felt kind of childish to me. I absolutely loved Ryan, just as I did in the first book and seeing them together just melted my heart.
I read the synopsis and I just couldn’t figure Ryan being the bad guy in this book and not listening to her saying no. Thank God it wasn’t him but the scene still gives me shivers. I have read a number of books dealing with rape and sexual assault but never read the actual thing happening. It was devastating. It was sickening. It was repulsive. I was crying. I was angry. I wanted to throw up. I just .. I couldn’t believe what was happening. And to think that this happens to so many people on a daily basis *shudders*. I just know that if I reread this book, I’m skipping that part. I’m shaking just thinking about it. It’s such a scary situation and Doherty wrote it really well and showcased Becca’s fear so well that as a reader, you could feel it as well.
I wasn’t lying when I said that this book was so hard to read. After Becca’s rape comes a whole plethora of misunderstandings, name-calling, victim shaming and it was just so infuriating. I was really disappointed with how Ryan and Jake acted throughout this book. I was really surprised. I wanted to be mad but at the same time it was hard to stay mad because Becca didn’t explain what happened either. It’s a twisted thing. I was mad at Ryan for not giving her the time to explain and I was yelling at Becca to just tell him anyway. It’s just hard because as a reader, we get to see both parts of the equation, when they can only see their side. But I was still very mad at Ryan.
I love reading books like this that deal with such horrors. I know it’s painful to read but I love reading and watching grow out of their shell and break out of their circumstances. I loved reading Becca’s journey of healing and I love that it showed just how amazing and resilient she is. It was beautiful and when time came for the truth to come out (because you know it’ll happen) it was so heartbreaking again. Every time she revealed to someone what happened to her was like a chip off of her shoulder but at the same time it was like opening herself up again. It was so hard. This book is definitely worth the read.