Leo (Preston Brothers #3) by Jay McLean
One single summer changed them forever, and one moment of devastating silence destroyed it all.
Growing up with six siblings, Leo Preston has always struggled to find his voice.
While his brothers are loud, greedy, and somewhat obnoxious, Leo is forever the quiet one.
He watches his life pass by as an outsider in his own world, absent and alone.
Until he finds her.
For Leo, Mia Kovács is like a prize, a gift wrapped in passion and devotion.
And she’s his—his very own secret he doesn’t have to share.
Together, they can overcome anything…
heartache and destruction, guilt and regret.
Mia gives Leo everything he didn’t know he needed,
including her fragile heart.
The only thing she doesn’t give him…
are secrets of her own
This book was so incredibly sad and heartfelt. I definitely found myself getting teary eyed a few times. The main characters, Leo and Mia just kept getting hit with one thing after another and just when you think everything would be okay, it wasn’t. While everything worked out in the end, it took a lot to get there and it was very, very real.
Leo and his many siblings lost their mother and Mia’s estranged mother is the Preston family’s nanny. Leo, while not diagnosed, was on the autism spectrum. He spoke of over stimulation with loud noises and crowds, and struggled being able to express himself. Leo was also dyslexic, that wasn’t officially diagnosed until he was a teenager. He also didn’t really receive the support he needed from his family growing up, but you do learn that everyone was sort of going through their own issues, which isn’t an excuse, but makes it understandable.
Mia, was abandoned by both her parents, raised by her grandpa. She went down to ‘spend’ the summers with her mom at the Preston’s household. Mia was essentially ignored during her time there. Already having her own issues with abandonment and self esteem, she overhears some hateful words that really set her life down a different path.
The story spans 10 years of time, and while it is a coming of age style story, it covers a lot more. There are some triggers in this book, including bullying and eating disorders and it is overall, a fairly hard book to read a times. One of the biggest things I got from this book is to see how words really impact people long after you have said something. Something said in passing, or in anger, or intentionally can literally change the course of someone’s life. So be kind in your words and actions and think about how it would impact other people.
I do recommend this book, thought don’t read it lightly. It is a series, however I did not read the first two books in it. While I would imagine the other books are incredible, I don’t plan on reading them. I prefer not to be sad when I am reading lol. Leo is available on Kindle Unlimited.