Sempre (Forever, #1)

Sempre (Forever, #1) - J.M. Darhower There are books where words are heavy. Really heavy. When the description of a character, the words he/she speaks, the interactions are full of different emotions that are practically swirling around and cannot name one to describe it. Sempre has it big time.
You can practically feel Haven's hopelessness, her tiptoe-ing in a world that seems normal, but it isn't. Her humbleness, "sorry-I-even-exist" approach of life is really tearing you apart.
Carmine living with the guilt of a little boy, and his faith, he doesn't one but seems like he cannot get away from. His vulgarity, harness how he pushes everyone away, because it's easier not to get attached emotionally, not even to your own family. His hate for his father not saving his mother and for the life he had choosen and knowing he had to follow suit.
Vincent De Marco with his inconsistent life and his guilt, he doesn't want to get rid of, as he needs a constant remind what his life did with his family and with himself.
Dominic, the equivalent of a carefree teen, who's perfectly aware of his family's whereabouts, but learned to lived with it, as he has the ability to built a free life of his own, without the burden of la famiglia.
It's a story about forgiving the unforgettable, growing up when you never had a childhood at all (both Haven and Carmine), learn to cope with the consequences of your choice, sacrifice and fight for freedom.
And at the end? Who's free? Honestly... no one. Because you learn the freedom is an easy word to use, but has several meanings.
Haven's free comparing her previous "life", but in her new she commits herself to the burden of secrets, cruelty of which she'll never get free.
Carmine has never known freedom. He was born, raised and prepared for loyalty to others, who want to own your free will and decide your fate, because it's the Code you've been born into. Freedom was always volatile for him and no matter how hard he fight against it, fate came down on him and left him no choice.
Vincent De Marco same as Carmine. Never been free, but he learned to accept it. He let down the most important person in his life and he pays for it every single day. Devastation to stop history repeating itself nearly breaks him into pieces. But rather, he finds absolution and gives up one freedom for another.
It's not a book to get you all riled up for grabbing banners and start protesting "Stop Slavery!" (or perhaps for some, yes). It rather shows you what it does to a person taken away from choices, making own decisions, breathe and live. How it tries to break you, and break the most important in person's life: soul.
At the end you realize: none of us is really free, as we all make major decisions in our life and many times we have to take its consequences that might lay heavy on our lives. But it cannot take one thing from us: our soul.